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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.
January 9, 2006
Good afternoon. It's an honor and pleasure to speak with you today. I'm always impressed by the quality and range of questions I receive on Ask the White House, and I'm sure today will be no different.
Yesterday was a special day for our schools and students. It was the fourth anniversary of the President's signing of the No Child Left Behind Act. Today the President, the First Lady, and I visited North Glen Elementary School in Maryland. I spoke with its dedicated principal and teachers and hard-working students who are making the law work. Since 2003 the school, with a diverse and economically challenged student body, has made great gains in reading and math scores, and is dramatically closing its "achievement gap" between white and African American students.
I believe that all schools can do as well as North Glen. And I'm excited to see the academic progress that's been made nationally in the early grades over the last four years. Now the President and I are working to bring high standards and accountability to our high schools so that all graduates have the skills to succeed in a highly competitive world. With that in mind, I look forward to your questions.
Sally, from Glen Burnie, MD writes:
information to my monthly technology newsletter to the staff. Looking forward to meeting you.
North Glen Elementary proves that No Child Left Behind is working and that we can close the achievement gap. This can be done, and your school exemplifies that.
I'm also glad you found our online resources for teachers. Our Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative includes online professional development and summer workshops for teachers. You can find more information at http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/tools/initiative/index.html.
Cliff, from Brimfield, Ohio writes:
And I am pleased to report that many children are benefiting from the public school choice and free tutoring provisions of the law. The most recent data we have available show that 233,000 students participated in Supplemental Educational Services and 32,000 students participated in public school choice during the 2003-04 school year. And we are working on ways to increase the number of children taking advantage of these opportunities.
And last, but not least, No Child Left Behind's Reading First program is working to improve reading instruction and student achievement throughout the country. To date, over 100,000 teachers have been trained through participation in Reading First and over 2.3 million K-3 students have benefited.
At the same time, the federal government has put increased resources on the table for K-12 education. Funding for K-12 has increased by 41% since 2001, from $24.7 billion in 2001 to $35 billion in 2006. Title I funding for disadvantaged students has increased by 45% in that same time period, and reading funding has quadrupled.
Kellen, from Arlington writes:
In November, I also announced a growth model pilot project, which will allow up to 10 states to incorporate high-quality growth models, which capture individual student learning growth, into their accountability systems. State, though, must have annual assessment, a strong data system, and the goal of all kids proficient in 2013-14 to be approved under this pilot.
As we move forward with the implementation of No Child Left Behind, I will continue to listen to ideas about how to strengthen No Child Left Behind and to work with States to ensure that the law remains a positive tool for raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap.
Kim, from Kentucky writes:
etc.)? I am really, really interested to see how the President's 1.5 billion H.S. Initiative helps with the problem Good Luck
In order for the United States to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy, it is imperative that we strengthen secondary education, particularly in the areas of math and science, so that students will have the skills they need to enter college and the workforce ready to succeed. We have already supported increases in funding for the Advanced Placement program and for Striving Readers, which provides research-based interventions for middle and high school students who are not reading on grade level. You will see me continue to emphasize the importance of high school reform and math and science as issues important to our global competitiveness this year.
Josh, from Chicago, IL writes:
Giorgio, from Wynnewood, PA writes:
after 10 years in chemical research, and have found part-time positions only in the private school sector. Public schools that have programs for
concurrent certification (like Philadelphia) require a full-time commitment. Moreover, many of the course requirements for certification seem to me redundant or inappropriate for established professionals. I am quite willing to take lower pay for the opportunity to teach, but I really don't like to have my intelligence insulted.
Joel, from Superior, WI writes:
Stephanie, from Temple, Texas writes:
finding roadblocks in terms of financing a higher education. I would like to break the cycle and teach others how to do it, and hopefully help others not to fall into the same "victim mentality" that once imprisoned me Any
suggestions on grants, etc... that would help me in any of those areas?
To meet the needs of all students who are trying to figure out the best way to finance their higher education, the Department of Education has created an effective resource called The Federal Student Aid Information Center. The Center is accessible online at www.studentaid.ed.gov to help students complete the student aid applications and to provide the public with free information about our programs. You can also call 1-800-4-FED-AID to speak to a specialist about our student aid programs (which include Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and the "campus-based" programs: Federal Work Study, Perkins loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants). All of these programs are helping students of all ages reach the goal of higher education.
I wish you the best of luck as you pursue your education and model your behavior for others.
Laurie, from Richmond Virginia writes:
will benefit our economy. Wouldn't cuts for special interest groups be more beneficial?
The Department of Education continues to work to make sure that all students in America have the opportunity to go to college. This year's budget included important reforms to the student-loan programs. These reforms included reducing unnecessary subsidies and payment to lenders, guaranty agencies, and loan consolidators. The fees a student pays when taking out a student loan will be eliminated over the next several years and students will be able to borrow more money if the need arises.
In addition, the Federal Government will provide increased funds for low-income students who take a rigorous academic curriculum in high school and provide grant funds for college juniors and seniors who study math, science and critical foreign languages. At the same time, students who enter the teaching profession and teach math, science or a foreign language will be eligible to have up to $17,500 in student loans forgiven in return for their service. So contrary to what you hear in the news, more money will be made available to students then ever before.
I appreciate your question and thank you for your work in the field of nursing.
Moi, from Houston writes:
The chairman of that commission, Charles Miller, is from Houston too, which also happens to be my hometown! Thanks for your question.
Dee, from Oregon writes:
Since President Bush first took office, funding for the Advanced Placement program has increased 46 percent, from $22 million in FY 2001 to $32.2 million in FY 2006. This program is helping more students, particularly low-income students, participate and succeed in AP courses and exams.
In order to provide all children a quality education, schools must be held accountable for educating every child, and No Child Left Behind is providing the tools to help schools do this.
Douglas, from Louisville, KY writes:
opportunity to study Russian. How do I apply for these programs, and when will they be available?
As part of this proposal, the Department of Education is requesting $57 million in 2007 for its specific initiatives, including grants to partnerships of colleges and K-12 school districts to create critical need language programs that span from kindergarten through university; teacher training in best practices for foreign language teachers in best practices; and options for critical need language speakers to teach in the classroom. For more information on this initiative, please go to our website at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/01/01052006.html.
Good luck with your Russian studies!
Haley, from Richmond,Kentucky writes:
Students,Tecahers,Princples and the rest for No Child Left Behind Act?
In addition, the Department has been in close consultation with state and local education officials to learn how we can best assist in their recovery. And our Hurricane Help for Schools Web page (HHFS) at www.hurricanehelpforschools.gov continues to match up schools in need with schools, organizations, business and individuals willing to donated needed supplies and equipment. To date, HHFS has made nearly 600 matches between schools and donors.
This devastating hurricane not only impacted students but affected teachers and school officials as well. Our efforts are ongoing and our support is unwavering to ensure that these children continue to receive a high quality education and that school officials have the support they need from us under these unique circumstances. In October, my Department made available a new booklet -- "Tips for Helping Students Recovering from Traumatic Events" -- to provide practical information and assistance for school officials, parents and others who are helping students affected by the hurricane. The booklet can be accessed at www.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/recovering/.
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