Vanderbilt University Peabody College of education and human development experts are available to discuss various aspects of No Child Left Behind as Congress considers its reauthorization in 2007. Call (615) 322-2706 or e-mail to schedule interviews with any of the experts listed below.

What are the pros and cons of NCLB, and what‘s next?
Andrew Porter, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, can discuss the current status of No Child Left Behind and evaluate the president‘s plan for the program during his last two years in office. Porter, director of the Vanderbilt Learning Sciences Institute, believes that in the long run, No Child Left Behind‘s goal of 100 percent of students proficient by 2014 is unworkable and unrealistic. However, he does cite short-run benefits of the legislation – educators trying harder to provide better instruction, particularly to low-income students, and the emphasis on research-based practices in the classroom. Porter was appointed by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to serve on the governing board of “The Nation‘s Report Card,” also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, in May 2005.

What are the fiscal and policy challenges schools will face under a reauthorized NCLB?
James Guthrie, professor of public policy and education and director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy, is available to discuss the fiscal challenges posed by No Child Left Behind—how they have impacted schools thus far and strategies schools can use moving forward to stretch limited budgets. Guthrie can also discuss educational accountability and reform under NCLB. Guthrie serves as consultant to a number of federal and state agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, National Academy of Science, National Science Foundation and the Agency for International Development. He is the author or co-author of 10 books and more than 200 professional and scholarly articles, and is the executive director of the National Center on Performance Incentives.

Is Reading First working?
Douglas Fuchs, professor of special education, has found baseline improvements in reading skills among students since the implementation of Reading First, a key component of No Child Left Behind, and can discuss why tools like Reading First benefit students. Fuchs can also discuss the challenges and opportunities NCLB poses for students with learning disabilities. He has been the principal investigator of 35 federally sponsored research grants and is the author or co-author of more than 200 scholarly articles. He is the co-director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development‘s Research Program on Learning Accomplishments for Individuals with Special Needs.

Is NCLB leaving our brightest students behind?
Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education, can discuss the unintended negative impacts NCLB can have and in some cases has had on gifted students. Benbow is the vice chair of President George W. Bush‘s National Mathematics Advisory Panel and has been nominated by the president to serve on the National Science Foundation Board. She is the co-leader of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, a 50-year study tracking 5,000 gifted individuals across their lifespan, examining their development and the impact of educational interventions on their success.

How are teachers-to-be being trained to teach under NCLB?
Marci Singer-Gabella, research assistant professor of teaching and learning, can discuss how universities are preparing their students to teach under No Child Left Behind, and the challenges these graduates face in effectively instructing students under the constant pressure of standardized-test performance. Singer-Gabella is a member of the Department of Teaching and Learning‘s teacher education coordinating committee and experienced the effects of No Child Left Behind firsthand as a teacher and researcher in high-poverty schools in Nashville.

For more experts on a variety of topics visit Vanderbilt‘s online experts directory, Sources, at

Explore Story Topics