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 Home > News & Policies > April 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 24, 2007

Fact Sheet: No Child Left Behind: Keeping America Competitive in the 21st Century
President Bush Visits Harlem Village Academy Charter School And Calls On Congress To Reauthorize NCLB This Year

     Fact sheet President Bush Encourages the Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind
     Fact sheet In Focus: Education

Today, President Bush Toured The Harlem Village Academy Charter School And Discussed The Importance Of Reauthorizing The No Child Left Behind Act.  Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is one of the President's top priorities for this year.  We must raise the bar and strengthen this law to ensure our children have the skills to compete and succeed in the global economy.  There can be no compromise on NCLB's core principles, including:

    • By 2014, every child learning to read and do math at or above grade level.
    • Annual assessments and disaggregated data so parents and educators know how all students are doing.
    • Meaningful information and options for parents, including charter schools.

  • Harlem Village Academy Is A Beacon Of Hope For Families In Its Community.  Harlem Village Academy is a public charter school featuring rigorous coursework grounded in high expectations for all students.  Key elements of its success include:
    • A longer school day – many students go to school from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    • Frequent assessment of student progress to drive improved instruction.
    • A culture of accountability for academic achievement. 

  • Harlem Village Academy Is Showing We Can Reach NCLB's Goal Of Helping Every Student Reach Grade Level Or Above.  Harlem Village Academy opened in the fall of 2003.  During that first year, fewer than 20 percent of its fifth graders were meeting State standards in math.  Last year, 96 percent of the students from that same class were meeting State standards in math for the seventh grade. 
  • President Bush Will Continue To Support Efforts To Give Parents Real Options And Expand The Number Of Charter Schools.  The long waiting list to get into many charter schools shows that demand for choice is outstripping supply in many communities.  Since the President took office, the Administration has provided more than $1.5 billion to help support charter schools, and the number of charter schools nationwide has increased from about 2,000 schools to about 4,000 schools.  The President will continue supporting charter schools as an important option for parents.

No Child Left Behind Is Working In New York City And Across The Nation

We See The Good Results Of No Child Left Behind In New York City.  In the five years since No Child Left Behind was passed:

  • The percentage of New York City fourth graders meeting State reading standards has increased by more than 12 points.
  • The percentage of the city's fourth graders doing math at grade level has increased by almost 19 points.   

We See The Good Results Of No Child Left Behind Across The Nation.

  • In math, nine-year-olds and 13-year-olds earned the highest scores in the history of the test.
  • In both reading and math, African-American and Hispanic students are scoring higher – and beginning to close the achievement gap.

We Must Build On No Child Left Behind's Success

Ensuring Students Graduate Prepared For The Challenges Of The 21st Century.   We will improve our high schools by increasing accountability for results and ensuring students graduate ready for college and the global economy.  We will also expand access to Advanced Placement courses and encourage all students to complete a rigorous course of study.

  • Strengthening Math And Science Instruction Will Be An Important Part Of This Effort.  The President has proposed a new Adjunct Teacher Corps to encourage 30,000 math and science professionals to bring valuable real-life experience to the classroom as part-time teachers, and he calls on Congress to fund this important program.

Improving Struggling Schools.  The President's FY 2008 Budget will increase Federal support for underperforming schools by more than $400 million – to a total of more than $1 billion next year. 

  • The President Has Proposed New Tools To Help Turn Around Schools That Consistently Fall Short Of Standards.  We will give principals in these schools additional staffing freedom, we will empower mayors and other elected officials to take a more active hand in improving these schools, and we will make it easier for officials to reorganize these schools into charter schools.  
  • The President Has Proposed Increasing Our Investment In The Teacher Incentive Fund To Nearly $200 Million Next Year.  This is up from $99 million in 2006, the first year it was funded.  The Teacher Incentive Fund rewards teachers and school administrators who help students achieve great results in low-income schools.

Giving Parents Of Students In Underperforming Schools More Choices.  When schools underperform for several years, NCLB gives parents real options: They can enroll their children in free tutoring – or transfer them to a better-performing traditional public or charter school.  The Department of Education will work with States and districts to help more students take advantage of free tutoring and to help expand school choice. 

  • President Bush Has Proposed Two New Programs To Further Expand School Choice.

    1. Promise Scholarships: This program would require school districts to offer eligible students in persistently low-performing schools "Promise Scholarships" to receive intensive tutoring or to attend another public, private, or religious school of their choice.  Federal funds would follow the students to their new schools.

    2. Opportunity Scholarships: This program would assist communities that want to provide additional scholarships for low-income students to attend private or religious schools.  Since 2004, the Federal government has funded a similar program in Washington, DC, and the President believes students outside our Nation's capital should have the same opportunities.

The President Has Also Proposed Adding New Flexibility To NCLB, Including Additional Ways Of Measuring Student Progress.  This includes allowing high-quality growth models to give schools credit for improvement from year-to-year and provide another way to show whether achievement gaps are closing.  States with well-established assessments and robust data systems may use growth models in their overall accountability system.  Growth models allow States to measure individual students' progress over time.

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