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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 19, 2005

President and Secretary Spellings Discuss Nation's Report Card
The Oval Office

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Education

11:16 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I are proud to welcome our Secretary of Education here to the Oval Office. Secretary Spellings has just delivered what's called the Nation's Report Card, which is a sample of over 300,000 students from -- in every state, as to whether or not they've got the capacity to read and write and add and subtract in the fourth and eighth grade.

This is an encouraging report. Thank you for coming, Madam Secretary, because it shows there's an achievement gap in America that is closing; that minority students, particularly in fourth grade math and fourth grade reading are beginning to catch up with their Anglo counterparts. And that's positive, and that's important. It shows that a system that measures and focuses on every child is a system that can help us, and achieve a goal that we really want in America, and that is every child learning to read and no child -- and add and subtract, and no child being left behind.

This is an important yardstick; it's an important measuring tool. It will allow states to compare how they're doing with their neighboring states, for example. It also points up where we've got more work to do. We've got work to do in eighth grade reading. And that's why we've discussed the program, Striving Readers Program. We hope Congress funds that program, to make sure that there's intense focus in the middle schools in reading and math, just like there's intense focus in the early grades in reading and math.

And so, Madam Secretary, thanks for coming. Appreciate you delivering the report. No Child Left Behind is working.

SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Thank you, Mr. President.


END 11:18 A.M. EDT

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