Quakers question No Child Left Behind clause

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- A Quaker organization wants the Juneau School District to tell parents about their rights to opt out of a portion of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The group, Juneau Friends Meeting, is concerned about a portion of the sweeping law that requires schools to give the names and contact information on students.

They want the school district to inform parents of their right to keep the information private. The law allows parents to opt out of the provisions and keep the information from recruiters.

''The concern is that there has been a very strong military presence generally in the schools, and the school district has been required by its own policies to keep student information confidential. This new law kind of overrides that,'' said Amy Paige, a member of the group.

No Child Left Behind was promoted by President Bush and passed into law last year. The law establishes new accountability measures that include yearly testing of students and allows students to transfer from substandard schools.

The act also requires public and private high schools to turn over names, telephone numbers and addresses of all students to recruiters. With the information, recruiters can make unsolicited calls, send literature and visit homes without a parent's initial consent.

In its letter, the group said the school district has not told parents about their rights under the new law.

School Superintendent Gary Bader said parents were notified in the fall that they could keep such information out of the school directory.

Bader said he could not recall whether the letter referred to the federal law on military recruiters. The district would inform them, Bader said.

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