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Cabinet Offical Plugs Education Policy in St. Louis

(UPI file)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige says the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act gives parents more choices for their children's education.

Paige visited with the staff and students of Larimore Elementary in suburban St. Louis Thursday.

He also spoke about the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court case that integrated public schools.

Paige says No Child Left Behind is the next logical step.

"Now that kids can come into the classroom, we've got to make sure that something in the classroom is going on. And that's what No Child Left Behind is about," Paige said. "Brown was the first step, it opened the door, it gave access. Now, No Child Left Behind is about fixing it so that inside the school where the access is, we have excellence."

No Child Left Behind has come under fire from critics who say it's an unfunded mandate that overemphasizes test scores.