Dallas, Texas, US
Sandy Kress, the Austin attorney who served as President George W. Bush's senior education adviser, said that "while No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was certainly not perfect, it contributed significantly to gains among all student groups, and it did so with a remarkable degree of bipartisan support."
"We live in hyper partisan times," Sandy Kress said, "and, sadly, it seems almost impossible these days to imagine both parties coming together the way they did to pass NCLB." "Over 80 of both Democrats and Republicans and over 80% in both the Senate and House joined together in passing NCLB."
"Even more remarkable," Kress said, "is how leaders all across the spectrum came together to support these reforms - Kennedy and Bush, Miller and Boehner, and so forth."
Kress recalled leaders from each side giving leaders from the other side credit on the floor when the legislation passed. "Democrats credited the President," Kress said," and Republican legislators credited Democratic legislators and their staff."
For example, Senator Edward Kennedy, the chief Senate sponsor, praised President Bush and then commended his staff, "I also want to mention Secretary Paige and Sandy Kress. Secretary Paige demonstrated many of the principles the President illustrated. Sandy Kress carried a great commitment to the President's positions. He is a very effective fighter for those positions and never gave up on any of them as we moved through, but always tried to find some way of moving this process toward a positive solution.”
He has said: "I'm very proud of the way all of the players worked together to address a major national challenge in 2001, yet I worry very much about how difficult such cooperation has become these days. For the sake of our country and our future, we must continue to find ways to cooperate in addressing our common challenges."