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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 revolution." -- President George Bush April 18, 1991 Summary 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 exams. -- School choice for parents for public, private and religious schools. -- 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 education unions. 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 2000: 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' Association. 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 standards. 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 students. 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 initiatives. 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 across America. 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- class standards. 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 history. 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 job skills. 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 needs. 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 authority. Promoting Literacy 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 illiteracy. 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 initiatives. 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 include: -- 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 employment.


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