Mrs. Laura Bush Promotes Quality Education for All Children
"Our children are the future. Ensuring that they receive the best education possible and the chance to realize their dreams is our greatest obligation."
Mrs. Laura Bush
Mrs. Bush joins President Bush in his goal to make America's schools the best they can be. Mrs. Bush encourages setting high expectations, providing needed resources and support for teachers and principals, and maintaining the goal that every child achieve and succeed in higher education and the workplace.
Mrs. Bush Supports The Landmark No Child Left Behind Act
- The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is based on the belief that every child can learn, and every school must teach to high standards. NCLB's core principles include making sure every child is at or above grade level in reading and math by 2014; encouraging annual assessment and disaggregation of data so parents and educators know how all students are doing; and providing meaningful information and options for parents and support for schools to improve so students can achieve.
- Between 2001 and 2008, total funding for NCLB rose 40% from $17.4 billion to $24.4 billion.
- Scores on our Nation's Report Card show progress in both reading and math achievement.Since 2002, 4th graders have shown significant increases in reading, with the highest rate of gains for lower-performing students. Math scores for 4th and 8th graders were higher than they have ever been in the history of the Nation's Report Card.
Mrs. Bush Supports Teachers Through Recruitment And Research-Based Training
To help encourage new teachers to join the profession, Mrs. Bush focuses her attention on several alternative teacher recruitment programs including Troops to Teachers, the New Teacher Project, and Teach For America. As of December 2008, Troops to Teachers has placed more than 11,000 former military personnel in teaching positions, the New Teacher Project has implemented 70 programs in 28 states and prepared more than 33,000 new teachers, and Teach For America's 14,000 corps members have taught more than 3 million children.
- In April 2008, Mrs. Bush and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings participated as guest teachers at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Washington, DC to mark the 10th anniversary of Teach For America Week. Mrs. Bush visited Teach For America classrooms in New York, NY, Newark, NJ, Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, and San Francisco, CA. She met with Teach For America recruits in Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, and Greenville, MS. Ms. Bush made 24 trips to the Gulf Coast Region, many times highlighting the success of Teach For America in New Orleans, LA.
"From coast to coast, Teach For America is transforming urban education -- one district, one classroom, one student at a time."
Mrs. Laura Bush
- Mrs. Bush launched her Ready to Read, Ready to Learn initiative to ensure that all young children are ready to read and learn when they enter the classroom; and that children have well-trained, qualified teachers. The initiative highlights successful early childhood programs that teach children important pre-reading and vocabulary skills, gives parents and caregivers information so they can help their children learn, and helps recruit and retain excellent teachers.
- As part of her Ready to Read, Ready to Learn initiative, Mrs. Bush hosted the White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers in March 2002. The Conference focused on two major areas of teacher instruction: preparation for teacher candidates, and professional development for those teachers who have already answered the call to teach. It also highlighted research regarding teacher preparation and student achievement.
Mrs. Bush Champions Reading Achievement
As part of helping students achieve and succeed, Mrs. Bush recognizes the importance of the Reading First, Striving Readers, and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) grant programs.
- Mrs. Bush urges Congress and state education officials to continue support of the Reading First program. The Reading First program builds on a solid foundation of scientific research and provides struggling students in the Nation's highest need schools with resources to make significant progress in reading achievement. In July 2008, Mrs. Bush addressed the 5th Annual Reading First National Conference in Nashville, TN to highlight the program's significant role in getting all students to read on grade level.
- Mrs. Bush promotes the Striving Readers program. The Striving Readers program aims to improve the reading skills of struggling middle school- and high school-aged students and to build strong strategies that improve adolescent literacy skills.
- As a former librarian, Mrs. Bush understands the importance of libraries and the support they are provided through the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grants. In the highly competitive Information Age, school libraries provide access to the resources and services students need to succeed. No Child Left Behind's LSL grant program provides schools with funds to improve their library media and to address the reading challenges of their students. In July 2007, Mrs. Bush helped announced the 2007 LSL grants at Driggs Elementary School in Waterbury, CT.
- In 2003, the Institute of Museum and Library Services started the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians. It also supports grants for research related to library education and library staffing needs, curriculum development, and continuing education and training.
Mrs. Bush Advocates For Early Childhood Learning
Mrs. Bush, a former teacher, knows that reading is the foundation for all learning. She encourages all parents, caregivers, and teachers to do their part to ensure that every child starts school with the skills needed to learn. Once in the classroom, children need excellent and effective teachers and a high-quality education. Research shows that when caring adults provide early language experiences, they shape a child's enthusiasm for learning, ability to interact with others, and success in school.
- Mrs. Bush hosted the White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development in July 2001. Subsequent regional conferences were hosted in Broomfield, CO; Boise, ID; Little Rock, AR; and Cincinnati, OH.
Mrs. Bush Encourages Students To Learn About American History And Culture Through Picturing America
The Picturing America initiative is designed to promote the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture in K-12 schools by introducing students and the public to some of America's art treasures. Picturing America brings a collection of artwork and culture to schools and public libraries, allowing students the opportunity to experience a piece of our Nation.
- The President and Mrs. Bush participated in the launch of the Picturing America initiative at the White House in February 2008. Mrs. Bush visited Edna Karr High School in New Orleans, LA and Riverside Elementary School in Bismarck, ND to encourage students and to emphasize the importance of teaching young people about history and culture through the study of American artwork.