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  • The United States Department of Education

  • President George W. Bush listens to students read about American values during a visit to Vandenberg Elementary School in Southfield, Mich., Monday, May 6.

    October 18, 2006
    President Bush Discusses No Child Left Behind Act in North Carolina
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    Next Step in Education Reform
         Read the President's Speech

    On Monday, May 6, 2002, President Bush highlighted the next important step in education reform – translating legislative action into results in the classroom -- by stressing the need for increased accountability, improved teacher quality, more parental involvement and a focus on reading in our nation's public schools.

    In Michigan and Wisconsin, President Bush will join Education Secretary Rod Paige’s 25-city “No Child Left Behind” Tour Across America. As part of the tour, the President will meet with students, teachers, principals, parents and community leaders to talk about the important roles they play in improving our nation’s schools.

    Background on the No Child Left Behind Tour Across America

    President Bush signed the cornerstone of his education agenda – the No Child Left Behind Act – into law on January 8, 2002. As a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, states and school districts will develop strong accountability systems to ensure that every child in America is receiving a quality education. States and school districts will receive additional flexibility and reduced federal red tape through the ability to transfer and consolidate funds to encourage innovation. To achieve the goal of higher student performance, the new law requires a “highly qualified” teacher in every classroom. Additionally, parents will have access to more information about how well their local school is performing, and new options to have more control over their children’s education. And, every school in America will have new tools to ensure that children can learn to read.

    The No Child Left Behind Act is the most sweeping reform of the educational system in a generation, and it will result in significant changes at the state, school district and classroom levels. On April 8, Education Secretary Rod Paige announced a 25-city nationwide tour to increase public awareness of these new changes – and to encourage parents, teachers, principals and community leaders to take an active role in implementing education reform. As part of this public awareness effort, the Department of Education has prepared specific information available through a web site ( and guidebooks to help parents, teachers, principals, local and state officials and community leaders.

    President Bush will meet with parents, teachers, school administrators and community leaders to encourage their involvement in implementing school reform. The President will focus on:

    • Strengthening Accountability -- Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states will be responsible for setting strong academic standards for what every child should know and learn in reading, math, and science at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools will have to measure student progress and better target resources by administering tests in each of three “grade spans” -- grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, tests must be administered every year in grades 3 through 8 in math and reading. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science achievement must also be tested. The President’s FY 03 budget requests $387 million to help states develop and implement accountability systems.

    • Improving Teacher Quality -- The No Child Left Behind Act requires that there must be a “highly qualified” teacher in every classroom by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Using the new provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act in conjunction with President Bush’s budget request, the federal government will invest more than $4 billion in 2002 alone to improve teacher quality and strengthen teacher recruitment throughout America.

    • Increasing Parental Involvement -- Because of the No Child Left Behind Act, every parent in America will have access to information on how well their child’s school is performing. Parents can use this information to get more involved to strengthen their child’s school. And, the No Child Left Behind Act gives low-income parents with children in persistently failing schools the ability to transfer their child to a better public school or use federal Title I dollars for supplemental services to improve their child’s education.

    • Strengthening Reading Programs -- The No Child Left Behind Act fully implements the President’s Reading First initiative. The new Reading First State Grant program will make 6-year grants to States, which will make competitive subgrants to local communities. Local recipients will administer screening and diagnostic assessments to determine which students in grades K-3 are at risk of reading failure, and provide professional development for K-3 teachers in the essential components of reading instruction. The new Early Reading First program will make competitive 6-year awards to districts to support early language, literacy, and pre-reading development of preschool-age children, particularly those from low-income families. The President’s FY 03 budget requests $1 billion for Reading First and $75 million for Early Reading First.

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