Tom Luce advocates no child be left behind

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

DALLAS (UNT), Texas -- A perennial advocate for students and teachers returns to North Texas with a message about education reform.

"This country has declared as our goal that it's our challenge to educate every child," says U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Tom Luce of the No Child Left Behind program. "No civilization in history has ever made that declaration. It can be done."

Luce will deliver the keynote address at the "Education: The Key to Success for North Texans" luncheon on Nov. 7 at the Westin Galleria (13340 Dallas Parkway). The University of North Texas College of Education is the sponsor of this annual event, which raises scholarship money for students.

Luce, along with Dean of the College of Education Jean Keller, UNT Chancellor Lee F. Jackson, UNT President Norval F. Pohl and emcee Clarice Tinsley will welcome educators, elected officials and business leaders as they support education -- and an educated work force -- for all of North Texas.

"The 'Education: The Key to Success for North Texans' luncheon was created to promote an awareness of the importance of education in creating an educated workforce for the North Texas region," says Dean Keller. "The College of Education partners with businesses, corporations and K-16 educational institutions to promote an awareness of education for all North Texans."

Back in May, President Bush tapped Tom Luce for the newly created role of assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development at the U.S. Department of Education.

"Well, it is a very different experience for me," Luce says. "As you know, I've been an outside voice -- outside the government and education -- since 1983. It's a new experience to be inside the tent -- but, an exciting one."

At the November luncheon, he'll elaborate on his new mission of policy development, particularly in regard to the No Child Left Behind legislation.

"There is growing awareness that standards and expectations have been raised," Luce says. "More time and attention must be devoted to individual student needs."

Ten years ago, Luce founded Just for the Kids. The nonprofit group makes accountability data readily available and helps educators use it to improve student achievement. He was appointed by Texas governors five times to key posts including delegate to the Education Commission of the States, chairman of the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, and chief justice pro tempore of the Texas Supreme Court. An author and attorney, Luce earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Methodist University.

As assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, he's also developing policy on the president's high school reform initiative and special education.

Individual tickets ($60) and table sponsorships ($500-$10,000) are still available for the luncheon on Nov. 7. For more information or to reserve your spot please contact Mary Westfall at 214-969-0090 by Nov. 1.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108