The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 3, 2006

Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan
Aboard Air Force One
En route Dallas, Texas

11:00 A.M. MST

MR. McCLELLAN: Good morning, everybody. A couple of things to mention. First of all, you heard the President talk about the good economic news that came out today, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.7 percent. And we have now seen the creation of nearly 4.8 million jobs since August of 2003. So that's further good news that our economy is strong and continuing to grow stronger. We've laid a solid foundation for future growth and job creation, but as the President indicated today, there is more to do to keep America the most competitive and innovative economy in the world.

And he also talked about the dynamic economy that we're living in, too, and why it's important to move forward on additional initiatives to keep our economy growing and leading the world.

Secondly, the Egyptian ferry, I just wanted to mention that on behalf of the American people, the President extends our deepest condolences to all Egyptians and citizens of other nations who -- other nations that suffered losses. We have offered assistance to help with the rescue attempts. And our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who lost loved ones.

Let's see, do you want questions or do you want to go to the week ahead?

Q Is the President -- will he give Libby's defense team access to the presidential daily briefs?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q Libby's defense team is asking for access to --

MR. McCLELLAN: You know where we stand on the investigation. The President directed the White House to cooperate fully and that's what we have done and will continue to do.

Q I'm sorry, is that a "yes" or "no"? Will you give them access to the PDBs?

MR. McCLELLAN: You need to direct any questions about the investigation to the Office of Special Counsel. That's an ongoing matter and we do not comment on it.

Q What happened with the accident in the motorcade?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just checked into that. Apparently, it was one officer who went down on his motorcycle. I know that the ambulance was released from the motorcade to go tend to him. Apparently he was conscious and breathing. There is a hospital very nearby to where the accident occurred and all of us are keeping the officer in our thoughts and prayers.

Q Was he a local officer or -- I mean, do you know, like, was he part of --

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know if he was State police or local police; you'd have to check that here.

Anything else, or do you want to go to the week ahead? Oh, let me mention a couple of things about the school we're going to, since this is just pool -- I've got some information on it.

Eighty-three percent of Townview's student body -- this is grades nine through 12 -- is African American or Hispanic. Thirty-six percent of the total student body took at least one AP, or advanced placement, exam. Twenty percent of the entire student body passed at least one advanced placement exam. So there is high participation rates in advanced placement. And at the Science and Engineering magnet school, for three yeas running, more African American and Hispanic students passed advanced placement calculus than any other school in the United States, public or private.

And in 2005, 35 of the African American and Hispanic freshmen and sophomore students passed AP calculus and that is more than any other school in the country. So it's a pretty strong record that they have when it comes to advanced placement. And teachers are the key to this. They have an outstanding group of advanced placement math teachers there. I can find you some more information on that.**

Let me go to the week ahead. On Monday, the President will participate in the swearing-in ceremony for Chairman Bernanke to the Federal Reserve. That will be in Washington. And then he hosts a -- the President and Mrs. Bush host a social dinner in honor of the Dance Theater of Harlem. And on Tuesday, the President will make remarks to the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

And next week the President will -- as I indicated previously, he's going to be focusing in greater detail on some of the initiatives and issues he talked about in the State of the Union. Next week we'll be focusing on the budget. To keep our economy growing and keep our economy competitive, we need to make sure that we're good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars. So the President will focus his remarks on Tuesday on the budget and the importance of moving forward with a fiscally responsible budget, and continue to build upon the record that we have achieved.

Wednesday, we put out the statement that the King of Jordan will be coming to Washington on Wednesday, and the President will meet with him at the White House. And he'll also sign the Deficit Reduction Act that just passed. And on Thursday, he'll make remarks on the global war on terrorism, in D.C. And then he'll meet with the President of Poland. And on Friday, he'll make remarks to the House Republican Conference, which will be meeting in Cambridge, Maryland.

That's the week ahead.

Q Is that open, Friday?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know --

MR. DECKARD: It's pool.

Q Is the Bernanke swearing-in in the Oval Office?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's an event, at the Federal Reserve.

Q What are the -- the terrorism speech on Thursday in Washington, is there something new on that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I indicated that as we talk about some of the specific domestic initiatives in the State of the Union, he's going to continue talking about the global war on terrorism. It's a little early to preview it, but I think it will build upon the speeches he's been giving on the global war on terrorism.

Q We're not going to hear anything that new?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's, like, five days off right now, so as we get closer, Elisabeth, I'll provide you with a preview of it. The President hasn't even seen the remarks yet -- any draft remarks yet, at this point.

Q The President of Poland on Thursday?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. Okay. Thank you.

**The AP Incentive Program has been in operation for 10 years in Dallas, which has a 93 percent minority enrollment: 63 percent Hispanic and 30 percent African American. Further, 81 percent of its students are classified as economically disadvantaged. Yet every year more Dallas students take an pass AP math, science and English exams with the following results: 32 percent of all juniors and seniors take AP exams, compared to 15 percent nationally; passing scores on AP exams have increased over seven times in 10 years; passing scores for females have increased over eight times; passing scores on just AP math and science exams in all Dallas schools increased ten-fold in 10 years, from 71 to 700; for African American and Hispanic students, the passing scores in AP math and science increased 33 times; minority students pass AP exams at a rate three times higher than the national average for minority students.

END 11:06 A.M. MST

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