Senator Merkley Tours William Walker Elementary School

Beaverton, OR –
Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley toured William Walker Elementary School in Beaverton, Oregon.  As part of his role on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Merkley will be instrumental in deliberations about how to update and fix the No Child Left Behind Act.  During today’s tour Senator Merkley had a chance to sit down with teachers and the principal of William Walker Elementary to get input on federal support for education and see what measures they have been taking to improve student achievement.

“Educators, administrators and parents have all pointed out the numerous flaws in the current No Child Left Behind Act and I felt it was important to get out in our schools and begin to hear the good ideas on how to improve public education for students across the nation,” Merkley said. “It was great to see firsthand the innovative measures that William Walker Elementary is using to improve student learning.”

William Walker Elementary was recently named one of ten 2010 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools in Oregon. The award recognizes leadership within the Oregon public school system and highlights schools that have made significant progress toward closing the academic achievement gap. Each school named has demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low income students.

As Senator Merkley travels throughout the state during the April recess, he will be meeting with education leaders in several settings to discuss what challenges they are seeing in our public schools and what measures are making inroads to improving student learning. Today’s tour was the kickoff to a weeklong series of meetings across the state.

“Oregon’s school districts are so widespread and diverse and it’s important that I get the necessary input from the people across the state who are directly impacted by the No Child Left Behind Act.  I think that’s the best way I can fight as effectively as possible for Oregon’s public school children,” said Merkley. “A good education is the building block to future success — for our students, our state, and our country.”