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 Home > News & Policies > January 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 9, 2006

Fact Sheet: No Child Left Behind - Strengthening America's Education System

Today's Presidential Action:

On The Four-Year Anniversary Of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), President Bush Traveled To North Glen Elementary In Glen Burnie, Maryland, To Discuss Efforts To Strengthen Education. President Bush discussed the Administration's commitment to strengthening America's education system, the progress made under NCLB, and the work that remains to be done.

  • The Success Of North Glen Elementary Shows We Can Raise Expectations, Measure Progress, And Get Results. Students at North Glen have made great progress in reading and math, and results for African-American students show the achievement gap is closing. In 2003, 57 percent of North Glen students were proficient in reading, and 46 percent were proficient in math. By 2005, 82 percent of students were proficient in reading, and 84 percent were proficient in math. Among African-American students, the percentage of students who were rated proficient in reading rose from 45 percent in 2003 to 84 percent in 2005; in math, 35 percent were rated proficient in 2003, and 82 percent were rated proficient in 2005.

With Passage Of NCLB, The Nation Made A New Commitment To Reforming Education. America is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations; ending the shuffling of children through the system; and building an education system that prepares children for the demands of the global economy. The Administration is raising expectations and increasing accountability; giving local authorities more flexibility with Federal funds; requiring curricula based on proven methods of successful teaching; and giving parents options when schools fail.

  • The President Has Made Education Funding A Priority. Since 2001, the Administration has increased spending on elementary and secondary education by 41 percent. Title I funding for disadvantaged students is up 45 percent, and funding for the Reading First program has quadrupled.

NCLB Is Raising Standards And Ensuring That The Educational Progress Of More Children Than Ever Before Is Measured. The role of the Federal government is to insist on standards, provide resources, hold people accountable, and help school districts to meet standards. Under NCLB, schools that take Federal education money must show whether or not children are learning and whether or not expectations are being met. Because states are testing and measuring, we know NCLB is producing results as test scores go up and the achievement gap narrows.

  • States Have Adopted Accountability Plans. Under NCLB, states are required to design accountability plans and test students every year, from third to eighth grade. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have designed and adopted accountability plans to test students and measure progress.

  • Standards And Accountability Are Working. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the achievement of young students has risen since 2002. In 2005, America's fourth graders posted the best reading and math scores in the test's history. Eighth graders earned the highest math scores recorded by NAEP.

  • The Achievement Gap Is Closing. Minority students are also making progress at a faster rate, so the achievement gap is narrowing. According to NAEP, African-American and Hispanic fourth graders set records in both reading and math scores. Eighth grade Hispanic and African-American students achieved the highest math scores ever.

Despite NCLB's Successes, There Is More Work To Be Done. No Child Left Behind is working, but we must continue to hold schools accountable. The Nation needs to improve its high schools and test students in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades. The President has proposed initiatives to improve education by, for example, having more math and science professionals serve as adjunct high school teachers and training more teachers for Advanced Placement courses. With these reforms, the quality of secondary education will improve and ensure that every student graduates from high school prepared to enter college or the workforce with the skills needed to succeed.

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