For Immediate Release
Office of Mrs. Bush
January 2, 2002
Remarks by Mrs. Bush for KIPP Academy
January 10, 2002
I am proud to spotlight KIPP's success so that others might see and
learn from your great example, and I'm happy to see so many people here
supporting the children who attend this academy. I wish the rest of the
country could see you, too.because you're proof that Americans do care
about what goes on in the classroom.
In 1997, when my husband was Governor of Texas, he first learned
about KIPP and the students not because of who they were, but rather
because of what they were accomplishing - the KIPP students' academic
progress caught statewide attention and earned much deserved
KIPP is a great example of how we can improve our nation's public
schools. These children and their parents are willing to accept the
challenge to obtain a better education, and they know, as they often
say, that "there are no short-cuts". KIPP students know that education
is the key to a better future, and they demonstrate the commitment to
excellence - which is their motto - in many ways.
Teachers, students and parents sign commitment forms that hold all
accountable for the rigorous academic and character-building
requirements at the academy. And KIPP sets high standards to match the
high hopes that parents have for their children. The academy's
record-high passing scores on the TAAS test this year show that in
America, every child can succeed in school when parents and teachers
have the passion, the care, and the commitment to help children
The students' level of success, once considered an exception to the
rule, is now the rule itself.
President Bush and I believe that when you give people local
control, you give them one of the most powerful tools to succeed:
freedom - freedom to soar, to innovate, to dream up fresh ideas and to
implement them in ways that truly help our children. The President
wants our educators and our education system to have greater
flexibility and support to do their job. so that every child is
educated and no child is left behind.
People sometimes make excuses for why our children don't succeed.
Some use family situations, economic status, language backgrounds or
learning difficulties to rationalize a child's lack of achievement. The
President calls this "the soft bigotry of low expectations".
We must set our sights higher than that. Only through high
expectations will our children excel in school and in life.
The children who attend this academy have a tremendous amount of
promise. Thank you for believing in every child who walks through the
doors of the KIPP Academy, where that promise can be realized.
Your presence here today shows that there is a better way for
teaching children. I hope you will continue to be creative, innovative,
hands-on participants in the educational process. The future of Texas
- and our nation -- is in your hands.
And now I'm pleased to introduce to you some extraordinary students
who will tell you in their own words what the KIPP Academy means to
them. Thank you.