Saturday, September 20, 2003

National spotlight on school

'Nightline' to feature Hamilton in piece on education reform

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

HAMILTON - This Southwest Ohio city will again be in the national education limelight.

ABC Nightline crews on Friday were at Hamilton High School, where U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-West Chester, was interviewed by phone by correspondent Judy Muller for a report focusing on cuts to the education budget and about the No Child Left Behind education reform act.

The legislation is considered to be the most sweeping change of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act since it was enacted in 1965. President Bush signed the bill at Hamilton High School in 2002.

Besides talking with Boehner, the segment will profile a Boston-area school and interview the superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Kennedy was one of the bill's sponsors, along with Boehner.

Camera crews also followed Boehner as he talked briefly with students in Burke Miller's U.S. history class.

A broadcast date has not been determined, an ABC spokeswoman said.

Boehner said he returned to Hamilton High for the taping in part because that's where the No Child Left Behind bill was signed. But more significant, he said, is that the district made a commitment to educating every child in Hamilton even before the president signed the bill.

"They're working at it very diligently. They're taking their job seriously,'' said Boehner, who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee. "In other large urban districts, too many have just given up on their kids because they're poor and it's difficult."

Senior Ashley Francis said all the attention Hamilton has gotten in the past 20 months is unusual but gratifying.

"It's really weird we get this attention - first the president, then the governor, now this," said Francis, who witnessed President Bush's signing of the bill. "We're finally getting the attention we deserved instead of put-downs."'


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