Mentoring Act to strengthen No Child Left Behind

Posted by Eric Bleier on July 14, 2010

Sen. Christopher Dodd introduced the Mentoring America's Children Act of 2010 as one of three pieces of legislation to help revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Recently Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Act is due for renewal and some would argue some revisions to correct problems in its original form as it was signed into law nine years ago.

I’m going to re-post some of the information released by MENTOR and by Sen. Dodd’s office and follow that with a few comments.

Stamfordplus.com, a web version of a news magazine for Dodd’s area, outlined the Senator’s proposed reforms as they relate to mentoring.

Every Student Deserves A Mentor:

The Mentoring America’s Children Act of 2010 strengthens the No Child Left Behind mentoring grant program by providing the resources necessary to sustain these programs, ensuring each program’s effectiveness, and most importantly, targeting students who are likely to benefit the most from mentoring - youth growing up in foster care or students in areas that have high rates of crime, gang violence, or drug abuse.

Dodd said, “Mentoring programs that provide youth with support, advice, friendship, positive reinforcement and constructive examples have proved to be a powerful tool for enhancing positive development among youth….Thus, mentoring invests not only in the individual child, but our Nation’s future success.”

But revisions to NCLB, and specifically the Mentoring America’s Children portion have been delayed for over a year after California Representative Susan Davis introduced this bill in the House in February 9, 2009.

It was referred to the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on March 23, 2009 where it has sat since then.

Sidenote: Memphis Representative Steve Cohen was among 18 cosponsors of this bill.

Progress of House NCLB hearings can be followed here. In short, both the House Committee on Education and Labor and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions have been holding hearings from many in the field of education.

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