August 18, 1992 PRESIDENT BUSH'S PLAN TO REVITALIZE AMERICA'S SCHOOLS +quot;Because we bel
August 18, 1992
PRESIDENT BUSH'S PLAN TO
REVITALIZE AMERICA'S SCHOOLS
"Because we believe in responsibility we believe in education
reform. We've laid out a strategy called AMERICA 2000. It
literally revolutionizes our schools. Doing it the old way
isn't good enough anymore . . . we need to hold our kids and
our teachers to a higher standard."
President George Bush
February 25, 1992
"To those who want to see real improvement in American
education, I say: There will be no renaissance without
-- President George Bush
April 18, 1991
o George Bush has fulfilled his commitment to be the Education
President. As President, he has set the agenda to revitalize
America's schools, proposing a new education system that will
help parents hold schools accountable for how well they teach,
and give teachers new flexibility to improve how schools work.
o First, the President forged an agreement with the Nation's
Governors on six National Education Goals. Then he designed
a strategy -- AMERICA 2000 -- to achieve the Goals. AMERICA
2000 is giving parents and teachers the tools to get the job
done. Now the President's "G.I. Bill for Children" will make
parental school choice real for millions of parents by
removing as a barrier to private or religious school education
the cost of that education.
o President Bush has challenged local communities, parents, and
teachers to strive for excellence by setting standards and
testing for results. AMERICA 2000 ideas like these are now
being put to work in 44 states and over 1,500 communities.
o With his AMERICA 2000 education strategy, President Bush is
battling "business as usual" education bureaucrats to
revitalize American schools. AMERICA 2000 promotes:
-- World class academic standards and voluntary national
-- School choice for parents for public, private and
-- Flexibility for teachers from rigid bureaucratic controls
-- Innovative "break-the-mold" New American schools.
o President Bush has committed substantial new funding to
achieve AMERICA 2000 goals and promote excellence in
education. Under his guidance, funding for the Department of
Education has reached historic levels, up 41 percent since
1989, from $23.0 billion to a proposed $32.3 billion for 1993.
Funding for Head Start, which prepares low-income children to
learn, has virtually doubled; this year the President proposed
the largest funding increase in Head Start's history.
o President Bush believes that without reform more federal
funding by itself will not improve America's schools.
Accordingly, the President has invested taxpayer dollars in
initiatives like the "GI Bill for Children" that will achieve
real change while ending the power of bureaucrats and
The National Education Goals
o In September 1989, President Bush called a historic two-day
Education Summit with the Nation's Governors at
Charlottesville, Virginia, to formulate an action plan for
education reform. The President won agreement with the
Governors for a decade-long Federal-State partnership to set
and meet National Education Goals.
o In his 1990 State of the Union Address, the President
announced six National Education Goals to be met by the year
1. All children will arrive at school ready to learn;
2. The high school graduation rate will be 90%;
3. Students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having
demonstrated competency in challenging subject matters;
4. U.S. students will be first in the world in mathematics
and science achievement;
5. American adults will be literate and able to compete in
a global economy;
6. Students will be provided a safe, disciplined, and drug-
free environment in which to learn.
o A comprehensive statement endorsing these goals was approved
unanimously one month later by the National Governors'
AMERICA 2000: The President's Strategy to Revolutionize Education
o Revolutionary education reform will only be possible when
parents and teachers are freed from bureaucratic
centralization and red tape. The President believes parents
and teachers should be able to put their best ideas and
competitive instincts to work to design the best schools and
the brightest futures for their children.
o In April 1991, the President announced AMERICA 2000, his
innovative strategy to achieve the National Education Goals.
The President's strategy is:
-- creating World Class Standards and voluntary national
exams that will help parents assess how well their
children's school is performing.
-- giving parents real choices in deciding which school best
meets their children's needs.
-- giving reform-minded teachers and principals new freedom
from bureaucratic controls in running schools.
-- creating "break-the-mold" New American Schools to help
children better learn basic and advanced subjects using
computers, videos, and other new teaching methods.
o The AMERICA 2000 movement is spreading like wildfire. Over
1,400 communities across the country have become "AMERICA 2000
Communities," accepting the President's challenge to adopt the
national goals, developing a strategy to reach them, designing
a report card to measure their progress, and planing to build
at least one New American School.
Promoting Accountability in Our Schools
o Promoting accountability means giving parents the ability to
judge, through achievement tests and national standards, how
well schools are educating their children. With new
accountability, parents will be able to demand change from
their children's schools, and, with choice, to send their
children to schools that yield better results.
o The President's initiatives to promote accountability include:
-- Developing and testing students to meet world class
standards in core academic subjects: English, math,
science, history, and geography;
-- Developing American Achievement Tests, a voluntary
national examination system to assess students'
achievement towards standards; and
-- Encouraging alternative certification of teachers.
o President Bush is building on the success of the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and providing
support for national standard-setting projects beyond American
Achievement Tests. The Department of Education is funding the
development of voluntary national standards in history,
science, and the arts and will soon announce similar efforts
in civics, English, and geography. Professional groups in
each discipline will collaborate to establish content
Empowering Parents with Choice
o George Bush believes that parents are best equipped to decide
which school their child should attend, whether it is a
public, a private, or a religious school. As the President
has said, "Whether it's the public school on your street or
the one across town -- whether it's private, parochial,
yeshiva or bible school -- let parents, not the government,
make that choice."
o President Bush is championing parental choice as the catalyst
for reform. Choice empowers families and puts competitive
forces to work for our children. Choice creates competition
among schools, and competition forces schools to provide
quality instruction. As the President has said, choice is the
cornerstone of any lasting strategy to reform and
revolutionize American education: it gets parents directly
involved in their children's futures, and uses the power of
competition to spur innovative thinking in our schools.
o George Bush knows that choice will help all American students.
Today, school choice is available only to those who can afford
it. The President believes that every American family,
regardless of income, should have a chance to choose a better
quality school for its children. That is why he proposed the
GI Bill for Children, which will put $1,000 scholarships
directly into parents' hands to defray the costs of the
public, private, or religious schools of their choice, giving
low- and middle-income children the same options now available
to upper-income children.
-- Four decades ago veterans were given new opportunities
and choices to afford college education. The President's
GI Bill will replicate the success of the first, GI Bill,
improving elementary and secondary schools.
-- The GI Bill for Children promotes real choice among all
schools if parents choose that option for their children.
o George Bush believes that competition among all schools --
public, private, and religious -- will produce quality
teaching in all schools. Despite real evidence that choice
works, Democrats continue to oppose choice for public,
private, or religious schools. While the President wants to
help all schools and empower parents, Democrats want to limit
the options from which parents can choose, and against which
public schools can compete; limiting choice, slowing reform,
and restricting progress towards higher achievement for all
School Choice is Working
o Despite Congressional delays, the President's leadership has
accelerated the nationwide movement for reform through choice.
At least 22 states have implemented some form of choice, with
10 states having enacted major school choice legislation. At
least 37 states have choice legislation pending in some form,
and at least 12 have citizens groups working on choice
o The type of community action lauded by the President can
produce dramatic results, as illustrated by Polly Williams, a
Wisconsin State legislator, who has worked tirelessly to
reform Milwaukee's schools. Through Williams' efforts, over
500 low-income students in Milwaukee can now attend the non-
sectarian private school of their choice using a state
scholarship worth $2,500 a year. In fighting for choice,
Williams was opposed in both the state legislature and state
courts by "business-as-usual" special interests: education
bureaucrats and teachers' unions worried that their monopoly
over schools would finally be broken. This, despite the fact
that Williams' initiative saves the state money, encourages
parental and community involvement in schools, and ensures a
better education for participating children.
Redesigning American Schools for Excellence
o The President recognizes the need to reward and promote
excellence, whether it be that of schools, teachers, or
students themselves. Championing excellence brings needed
recognition to reforms that work, encouraging their adoption
and implementation in other schools:
-- AMERICA 2000's Merit Schools Program will honor schools
showing significant progress toward higher educational
achievement for all their students.
-- The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Education
initiative will recognize and reward outstanding teachers
o To put new ideas into practice, the President has proposed to
spend $545 million to create at least 535 New American Schools
located in every part of the Nation. These revolutionary
schools will be designed from the bottom-up -- to "break the
mold" of existing school designs. Unfortunately, the Congress
has been unwilling to accept the President's proposal to
invest in excellence, and the House Democratic leaders have
rejected the proposal outright.
o "Break-the-mold" schools will translate what until now have
been abstract ideas into reality. Public school principals
and teachers will be able to observe ideas in practice and
learn how to transform existing schools into working models of
reform. In short, "break-the-mold" schools will pay for
themselves many times over, as public and private schools
adopt previously untried reforms that will work.
Promoting Instruction in Math and Science
o President Bush understands that America's economic future
depends on the ability of its children to compete in an
increasingly-advanced, high technology world. AMERICA 2000
will help students get the math and science instruction they
need by focusing on results -- setting and achieving world-
o In his latest budget, the President requested more than $2
billion in federal spending for math and science education,
$768 million of which will go to pre-college programs. Over
the last three years, the President has increased math and
science spending by 70 percent.
o President Bush wants to put America's best technology to
work in training the next generation of entrepreneurs,
scientists, astronauts and engineers. The President
knows that the best way to excite young minds is to give
them hands-on experience with new technologies. New
American Schools that put these technologies to work will
be crucial in determining which successful technologies are
most successful in helping children to learn.
o For students who respond to these new challenges, the
President is proposing to increase funding for National
Science Scholarships to $15 million, and to more than double
awards to $6,000. This program was proposed by President Bush
to encourage excellence in science and mathematics and to give
the country the scientific expertise it needs to lead the
world in the 21st century.
Expanding Head Start
o President Bush has set as one of the Nation's Education Goals
that every child should come to school ready to learn. And,
for those who need extra time and attention, no program
produces better results than Head Start.
o The President is fulfilling his 1988 campaign promise to
fully-fund Head Start. His 1993 Budget requests $2.8 billion
for Head Start next year, more than double the amount invested
in Head Start when President Bush entered office. This
increase of $600 million over 1992 levels represents the
largest one-year increase ever in the program's 25 year
o If approved, the President's budget request would allow Head
Start to serve approximately 780,000 children, 157,000 more
than the number who will be served this year. The new funding
would also fulfill President Bush's 1988 campaign promise to
make Head Start available to all eligible four-year-olds.
Under the President's budget any child wanting to participate
in the programs will be able to participate fully in Head
Start for one year prior to entering school.
o George Bush understands that improving opportunities for
children also means strengthening the families in which they
live. President Bush believes that Head Start will be more
effective if parents practice more personal responsibility,
and take a more active role in their children's education.
That is why the President has proposed to expand Family
Service Centers affiliated with Head Start, which help parents
find counseling for substance abuse and training to improve
Flexibility in Administering Education Funds
o The central principle animating the President's education
reforms is the emphasis on results. Flexibility in
administering education programs will allow Governors,
teachers, parents, and others in the community to work
together in developing specialized programs to meet special
o In 1990, President Bush first sent his educational excellence
proposals to Congress. In May, 1991 the President sent to
Congress an expanded proposal, the Educational Excellence Act,
which embodies the legislative components of his strategy.
The Act promotes local control and innovation by providing
increased flexibility in the use of federal funds in exchange
for enhanced accountability for results. Unfortunately, for
three straight years the Democratic leadership in Congress has
failed to pass Bush education reforms, preferring instead the
tired formula of federal mandates, bureaucratic micro-
management, and only the most narrow forms of flexibility
o The President insisted that one of the Nation's Education
Goals be a commitment to make all Americans functionally
literate by the year 2000.
o President and Mrs. Bush have both worked in real and direct
ways to speed progress toward this National goal. The
President has promoted federal literacy programs that produce
results by making children literate as early as possible, and
by involving their parents in their child's education.
o At the President's direction, funding for these family
literacy programs will have quadrupled, while funds for adult
literacy programs will have increased 90%, from $155 million
in FY 1989 to $294 million in FY 1993. The President also
requested $261 million in his 1993 Budget to Adult Education
State Grants, the most significant program combatting adult
o Mrs. Bush, through her own private literacy foundation, has
worked tirelessly to design new literacy initiatives, to
extend the reach of existing literacy programs to at-risk
children and working adults, and to promote family learning.
In addition, Mrs. Bush has devoted nearly $1 million in after-
tax royalties from publication of her own book to literacy
Job Training 2000
o The President believes that learning is a life-long
enterprise. His Job Training 2000 strategy creates a
comprehensive education and training system designed to serve
individuals and employers more effectively. Key elements
-- Reforming vocational training into a unified job training
system building upon the existing Private Industry
Council (PIC) structure.
-- Facilitating the transition from school to work by
establishing voluntary skill standards for what employees
should know and be able to do in different occupational
areas and enabling students to participate in voluntary
youth apprenticeship programs.
-- Facilitating the transition from welfare to work by
funding demonstrations of private sector projects.
-- Promoting life-long learning by exploring the possibility
of letting each citizen eligible for Federal education or
training assistance to have simplified Lifetime Education
and Training Account (consisting of a combination of
grants and loans).
Youth Apprenticeship Act of 1992
o The President recognizes that almost half of high school
students will not go on to postsecondary education. The Youth
Apprenticeship Act proposes an American apprenticeship system
which would open a lifetime of employment and training
opportunities for any student. It would:
-- Allow stu qualification, and
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