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 Home > News & Policies > October 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 5, 2006

Fact Sheet: The No Child Left Behind Act: Challenging Students Through High Expectations

     Fact sheet President Discusses NCLB Reauthorization at the Education Department
     Fact sheet In Focus: Education

The No Child Left Behind Act Is A Historic Law - It Is Working, And It Is Here To Stay. When he came to Washington, President Bush worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and he was proud to sign it into law. Today, President Bush discussed the progress made under NCLB and areas where we can look to improve.

  • The Theory Behind No Child Left Behind Is Straightforward: The Federal Government Will Ask For Demonstrated Results On The Investment It Makes In Education. Local schools will remain under local control, but instead of just sending checks from Washington and hoping for the best, we are measuring results and holding schools accountable for teaching every student to read, write, add, and subtract.

  • The No Child Left Behind Act Is Changing More Than The Law - It Is Changing A Culture. We are leaving behind the days when schools shuffled children from grade to grade, especially minorities and children who do not speak English at home. We are making it clear that every child can learn, and every school must teach. There can be no compromise on the basic principles of NCLB: Every student must read, write, add, and subtract at grade level - that is not too much to ask.

  • We Have Come Too Far To Turn Back Now - Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind Is Critical. If we were to lower standards and roll back accountability now, we would be abandoning children to the status quo that failed for decades, and the children hurt most would be the ones NCLB was designed to help - children in the inner cities, in rural America, and in special education.

The No Child Left Behind Act Is Working. The most recent national tests show encouraging results:

  • In reading, 9-year-olds have made larger gains in the past five years than at any point in the previous 28 years;
  • In math, 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds earned the highest scores in the history of the test; and
  • In both reading and math, African American and Hispanic students are scoring higher, and are beginning to close the achievement gap with their white peers.

The No Child Left Behind Act Has Brought Good Progress - Yet We Still Have Much Work To Do

1. We Must Improve Teacher Quality. Bringing every student up to grade level requires a quality teacher in every classroom. President Bush worked with Congress to create a Teacher Incentive Fund that allows States and school districts to reward teachers who demonstrate results for their students and who make the tough decision to teach in the neediest schools.

  • President Bush Has Also Proposed A New Program To Encourage Math And Science Professionals To Bring Their Expertise Into The Classroom As Part-Time Teachers. The President calls on Congress to fund this program.

2. We Must Improve Options For Parents. We must do more to help parents use their options when their children are trapped in struggling schools. We will work with school districts to provide parents with more timely and useful information about their transfer options and, especially in big cities, to help more students take advantage of the free intensive tutoring offered under NCLB.

  • President Bush Proposed A Nationwide Opportunity Scholarships Program To Help More Students Escape Troubled Schools. His proposal would allow 28,000 low-income children to transfer to a private or religious school of their choice. The President calls on Congress to create this program, so we can help more children attend a good school and turn around their lives.

  • This School Year, About 1,800 Low-Income Students Have Used Scholarships From The D.C. Opportunity Scholarships Program To Enroll At A School Of Their Choice. Congress created this program in 2004 with strong support from the Administration and Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, D.C.

3. We Must Improve Our High Schools. We need to bring the same high standards and accountability of NCLB to America's public high schools. The President calls on Congress to pass his proposed $1.5 billion initiative to fund testing early in high school and to help teachers fix problems before it is too late, and his proposed program to train 70,000 teachers over five years to lead Advanced Placement classes in high school.

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