For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 31, 2001
06 A.M. Edt
Saturday, September 1, 2001
Radio Address of the President
to the Nation
Good Morning. on Monday, Americans Will Celebrate
Labor Day. It's a Day to Salute the Most Productive Person on Earth -- the
Whether you work on a farm, in an office
or on a factory floor; whether you design computer chips, build houses
or teach school; whether you're just starting out or whether you built
your own company from nothing -- your nation thanks you for your
American productivity has risen so high
because Americans work hard and because they work
smart. When Congress recognized the Labor Day holiday in
1894, most of this country's jobs demanded only a strong back and
willing hands. Today, good jobs demand math skills,
technical knowledge and fluent reading.
The progress of our economy and the future
of our children starts in the classroom. And that's why
education must be our nation's highest priority.
At this time of year, many of our children
have already returned to school and others are about to
return. Congress, too, is returning from its summer recess,
and it left behind some unfinished business: my education
reform plan. Different versions of this plan have passed the
House and the Senate. Congress should now produce a single
bill that incorporates the strong reforms I have proposed.
It is vital that this bill uphold clear
standards, require regular testing and provide real
accountability. Our children need the help my education plan
will provide: a new commitment to reading and early
intervention to catch those who fall behind.
Our educators need to get ready for the
new accountability era that's coming to our schools. The
more swiftly Congress acts, the more time educators will have to
prepare. If Congress delays to play political games, they
put another generation of students at risk.
The education reform bill I support offers
new resources to schools. In return, it calls for improvements in math
and reading, proven by testing from every school in
America. Higher standards will lead to higher quality
education, yet, meeting those standards will require careful planning
in local districts. Every day counts, and the sooner we
start, the better.
We want to start adopting reforms this
school year so they can be up and running by the beginning of next
school year. We've made good progress, now we must finish
There is always something exciting about
the new school year -- the eager faces, the new books and shoes,
scrubbed hallways. It's a new start and a new
opportunity. That's true for students, it's true for
teachers, and it's true for Congress.
I'm looking forward to welcoming Congress
back to Washington and back to work. Together we can make
this a year of accomplishment. I challenge the
Congress: send me a good education reform bill to sign, and
send it quickly, so that our children will return next year to schools
that prepare them for good jobs through many Labor Days to come.
Thank you for listening.