Over the past seven years we have worked to strengthen the public school system. In other words, we havent given up on public schools; quite the contrary, weve tried to help them succeed by passing the No Child Left Behind Act. Weve learned that scores for minority and poor students are reaching all-time highs in a number of areas.
President George W. Bush (April 24, 2008)
Today, President Bush announced new data that demonstrates continued progress reducing drug availability and use since 2001. New youth drug use data from the Monitoring the Future Study showed continued reductions in overall youth drug use over the past seven years, and new law enforcement and workplace drug test data show a significant disruption in the cocaine market.
Helped Protect Americas Children
Implemented a national drug control strategy to combat teen drug use, which helped reduce illicit drug use among teens by 25 percent since 2001.
Through the PROTECT Act, strengthened law enforcements ability to prevent, investigate, and punish child exploitation crimes, abolishing the statute of limitations for crimes involving the abduction or physical or sexual abuse of a child. Established a nationally-coordinated AMBER Alert Program, which has helped save nearly 400 children nationwide.
Combated sexual crimes against children with the Internet Crimes Against Children program (more than 13,750 suspects arrested since January 2001) and the Innocence Lost Initiative, a joint Federal and State effort to prevent child prostitution (more than 575 children rescued, more than 300 defendants convicted). Federal prosecutions of child predators in Fiscal Year 2008 posted a 33 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2006.
[The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act] may be the toughest piece of child-protection legislation in 25 years. Americas Most Wanted Host John Walsh (July 21, 2006)
Greatly expanded the national network of Department of Justice-funded Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, now numbering 59, that investigate computer-facilitated child sexual exploitation. Launched Project Safe Childhood to further protect children from exploitation over the Internet by coordinating law enforcement efforts to prosecute online predators.
Signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which expanded the National Sex Offender Registry, strengthened Federal penalties for crimes against children, and made it harder for predators to reach children on the Internet.
Created the Helping Americas Youth initiative. Led by Mrs. Bush, the program develops resources to connect caring adults with young people, particularly at-risk boys, through helpingamericasyouth.gov.
Results of tests scores from the National Educational Assessment of Educational Progress Source: nationsreportcard.gov
Improved Education For Every American Child
Transformed the Federal governments approach to education through No Child Left Behind, which held schools accountable for helping every student, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, succeed. No Child Left Behind has helped fourth and eighth graders achieve the highest math scores on record, increased the percentage of first-grade students reading at grade level in 44 of 50 States, and enabled African-American and Hispanic students to post all-time highs in several categories.
Gave parents the opportunity to choose a better public school, a tutor, or a public charter school if their childs school did not improve. Provided funding to more than half of all public charter schools in the country to expand alternatives for students in struggling schools; since 2000, the number of charter schools in the United States has more than doubled.
Established the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships program, the first Federal school-choice program, which allows families to choose a private or religious school if it better meets their childs needs. At the end of the 2007-08 school year, had provided more than 2,600 low-income children with up to $7,500 to attend the private school of their choice.
Increased the percentage of highly qualified teachers in classrooms from 87 percent in the 2003-04 school year to 94 percent in the 2006-07 school year. Created the $100 million Teacher Incentive Fund, which rewards teachers who improve student achievement in high-need school districts. Proposed, and Congress enacted, an adjunct teacher corps of math and science professionals who can bring their expertise directly to American classrooms.
Provided a record $95 billion in new grants, loans, and work-study assistance to help nearly 11 million students and their families obtain the benefits of postsecondary education. More than doubled the funding for Pell Grants to help 5.8 million students 1.5 million more than in 2001 and increased the maximum award to the highest level ever.