For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 6, 2002
Fact Sheet: President Highlights Next Step of Education Reform
This Week's Presidential Action
President Bush will highlight 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 (www.NoChildLeftBehind.gov) 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
- 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.