Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

crusade against public high school _ No Child Left Behind extended

Expand Messages
  • a_cascadian
    crusade against public high school _ No Child Left Behind extended With so much devastation that the No child Left Behind to elementary public schools now Mr
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      crusade against public high school _ No Child Left Behind extended

      With so much devastation that the "No child Left Behind" to elementary
      public schools now Mr Bush plans to devastate the high schools next.
      As Mr Bush enables educational budgets from k to 12 and higher
      education his administration has created a department of religion that
      funds specifically fundamentalist Christian faith based schools. Is
      there an intentional attempt to create an educational gap between the
      "haves and the have-nots". A goal that would leave the masses
      illiterate and dependant on the "goodwill" of the well funded
      Evangelistic Christian faith-based groups? One of Mr Bush's devoted
      supporters Rev. Jerry Falwell made the statement about public schools:

      "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our
      country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have
      taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a
      happy day that will be!"
      Rev. Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53, from Albert J.
      Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on
      Religious Freedom (found at http://home.att.net/~jrhsc/devil.html)

      Below are articles of Mr Bush's new crusade on public high schools
      with URLs attached:

      Bush Wants High Schools Added To No Child Left Behind

      POSTED: 11:29 am EST January 12, 2005
      UPDATED: 11:40 am EST January 12, 2005

      FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Saying America's high schoolers are lagging in
      key skills, President George W. Bush has launched a second-term drive
      to expand his No Child Left Behind plan to secondary education.
      And he said he wants to spend $1.5 billion to do it.

      The president went to a high school in suburban Washington Wednesday
      to say his first-term overhaul is working -- with grade-school reading
      and math scores rising.

      Now, he wants to apply the same measures to high schools, with testing
      in ninth through 11th grades, and tough measures for schools that
      don't measure up.

      Bush said a high school diploma should mean something, and not just be
      "a sign of endurance."

      Bush has hailed the No Child Left Behind Act as a landmark for
      educational accountability.

      However, many teachers complain its standards have proven devilishly
      hard to meet -- even in good school systems. Plus Democrats say the
      plan is woefully under-funded.

      Found at http://www.news4jax.com/education/4075198/detail.html

      President's proposal to expand No Child Left Behind gets mixed reviews
      in NH
      The Associated Press

      FALLS CHURCH, Va. — President Bush began a second-term drive yesterday
      that he said would improve the American high school, urging the same
      testing and consequences he used to shake up earlier grades.

      In his first major education speech since winning reelection, Bush
      touted his plan to demand state reading and math tests in grades three
      through 11. That would broaden his No Child Left Behind law, which
      requires one year of state testing during grades 10 to 12.

      "Testing in high schools will make sure that our children are
      employable for the jobs of the 21st century," Bush said at J.E.B.
      Stuart High School. "Testing will allow teachers to improve their
      classes. Testing will enable schools to track. Testing will make sure
      that the diploma is not merely a sign of endurance, but the mark of a
      young person ready to succeed."

      Last night, New Hampshire educators responded to the proposals.

      Deb Hamel of Keene, a District 5 representative on the state Board of
      Education, applauded the President's speech after taking time to read
      through a copy of the text last night online.

      "NCLB (No Child Left Behind) has had many arrows fired at it, many
      oppose the 'highly qualified teacher' part of it. However, it's my
      understanding in a conversation I had with the Department of Education
      in Washington, D.C., about a year ago that each state is responsible
      for developing its own definition of 'highly qualified,' and each
      state has the flexibility to develop its own system to measure teacher
      qualifications," Hamel said. "Throughout this speech, there is much
      emphasis on teachers, there is praise for teachers. In one part, he
      said they are 'vital,' and he firmly believes that. I've met the
      President on many occasions; he is passionate about education."

      She was especially encouraged by the President's promise to dedicate
      money for teacher training.

      "The teachers deserve this, and many times in this state where
      property taxes are high and budgets get slashed, our teachers lose the
      money for training and specialists to come in," Hamel said.
      Not enough resources

      Ellen Healy, president of Manchester Education Association, said the
      President's push for accountability is commendable — but lacks the
      resources to be effective.

      "I'm all for accountability. There's no one alive who doesn't want our
      children to do better. However, President Bush has not funded the
      current No Child Left Behind law — and I highly doubt he will provide
      any funding for the new legislation he proposes," Healy said.

      "I'm glad to see he uses education as a priority. However, he must put
      some substance behind it," Healy said. "Look at the (Individuals With
      Disabilities Education Act) that was passed how long ago? But it's
      still never been funded. And we here in Manchester are struggling
      tremendously with that."
      A hot topic

      Improving high schools has become a hot topic, with calls of alarm
      from the President, the nation's governors, employers and college
      professors. The reason: Many high school students aren't ready for
      college or work after they graduate, if they get that far.

      "The attention is welcome," said Kati Haycock, director of the
      Education Trust, an advocate for poor and minority children. "Other
      countries are cleaning our clocks at the secondary level, and we need
      to get serious about it."

      Bush headed into the Washington suburbs to speak at the high school,
      known for big gains in achievement despite high poverty, student
      mobility and language diversity.

      The President reiterated ideas he presented during his fall campaign,
      when he signaled that he would shift focus from elementary and middle
      grades to high school.

      They include bonuses for teachers whose students perform well,
      individual performance plans for students entering high school, and
      more college aid for students who take a rigorous curriculum.

      Bush also proposed extra support for high school students still
      struggling to read well.

      Said Bush: "It sounds odd, doesn't it, for the President to stand up
      and say, 'We need to focus on reading in high school.' But that's the
      state of affairs."

      A flurry of reports has raised doubts about the value of the high
      school diploma, with graduation exams that don't test 12th-grade
      knowledge, employers who can't find workers with basic grammar skills,
      and colleges that must place many students in remedial classes.
      Gilford High's reality

      Gilford High School special education teacher Warren Sommers has been
      in the trenches 35 years. He has learned that talking the talk does
      not improve test scores, raise skill levels of struggling students —
      or pay for reforms.

      "I'll tell you what the problem is — it's the funding, or lack
      thereof. The rhetoric is there, but not too much substance," Sommers
      said. "I've been doing this 35 years, so I'm somewhat discouraged at
      this point in my career. Although the mandates are there, all the talk
      about reinforcement of additional training, smaller class sizes,
      summer programs — it's not been a priority."

      Sommers has the unique perspective of also being adviser to the high
      school's Future Teachers of America club — an interesting gauge for
      the future of education in our country.

      Like a dose of reality-TV, students get the chance to shadow teachers
      in the classroom and explore their chosen profession. Sommers says in
      the three years since taking over the club, one of the biggest
      challenges has been retaining membership.

      "I see some real talent out there in terms of students interested in
      working in the field of education. But I'd like to see more," Sommers

      He said it's not all for lack of interest. One hurdle is the number of
      other activities available to students after school. But membership is
      declining, just the same.

      "I think some eventually go into the private sector and industry
      because, after they experience some of what teaching is really all
      about, they become discouraged," Sommers said.

      Despite what he's seen, Sommers said he favors parts of NCLB — and
      extending it into the upper grades — because it serves as a catalyst
      in allowing communities and schools to really view what's being
      taught, and how to improve on that.

      "Ultimately, the President's proposals will hopefully enhance the
      commitment of parents and the community in terms of joint effort in
      improving education," Sommers said.
      A cost of $1.5 billion

      On the funding side of the proposal, Bush said yesterday his high
      school plan, a mix of consolidated programs and new money, would cost
      $1.5 billion. But it may well be squeezed fast, with a record deficit
      limiting domestic spending.

      Congress, for example, took Bush's $100 million request for his
      "Striving Readers" program and cut it to $25 million this year. Bush
      now wants $200 million for the program.

      "Many of these ideas are the right thing to do, and they're the right
      issues — we're probably late getting to them," said Patricia Sullivan,
      director of the independent Center on Education Policy. "But if we're
      going down this path, we have to have the resources."

      Bush won bipartisan support for No Child Left Behind, the law that
      reshaped education by demanding schools help children regardless of
      race, wealth or background. Democrats say Bush hasn't provided enough
      money for the law, making them wary to join him this time round.

      "The President will meet stiff resistance in Congress and in the
      country if he adds new requirements for high schools while he
      continues to refuse full funding," said Rep. George Miller of
      California, the top Democrat on the House education committee. The
      lead Democrat on the Senate education committee, Edward Kennedy of
      Massachusetts, warned of the same result.

      Federal spending on programs covered under No Child Left Behind has
      increased 40 percent since Bush took office, from $17.38 billion to
      $24.35 billion. But spending went up only 1.7 percent this year, about
      the same rate of increase the entire Education Department received.

      Under the law, schools that receive Title I poverty aid and fail to
      make progress face mounting penalties, such as ensuring students can
      transfer elsewhere. Holding high schools accountable the same way may
      be difficult, because a small number get federal poverty aid.

      After his speech, Bush ducked into a government class with first lady
      Laura Bush and spoke to the students, who had just been learning about
      his predecessor — Bill Clinton.

      Union Leader Staff Writer Carol Robidoux contributed to this report.

      Found at http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=49548

      WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of
      remarks by President Bush on high school initiatives:

      J.E.B. Stuart High School
      Falls Church, Virginia
      10:31 A.M. EST
      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all, very much. Thank you all. Thanks, a lot.
      Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. Dr. Riddile, thank you
      for inviting me and Laura to come to your great school. He said, we're
      not very far from the White House. I said, fine, I'll just drive over.
      It turns out, I didn't see any traffic. (Laughter.)
      I want to thank all the students who are here today. Thank you for
      coming to let an old guy speak to you. Dr. Riddile said, make one
      thing -- make sure you do one thing, Mr. President. I said, what is
      that? He said, keep the speech short, students can't wait to get back
      into class. (Laughter.) Here we go.
      I also want to thank the folks that Laura and I got to meet earlier --
      teachers and superintendent, parent. They explained to us why their
      school is so good. And we're here because this is a great school. I'll
      talk a little bit about that later on. But one thing for certain is
      that the philosophy of this school needs to be the philosophy of every
      school -- and that is, you believe in the best for every student, and
      you do what is necessary to make sure that every child -- not groups
      of children -- but every child can read and write and add and
      subtract, and every child has got the potential to achieve his or her
      dreams in America.
      The first thing I want to do is congratulate the leadership of this
      school, the principal, the teachers, and the involved parents for a
      job well done. (Applause.)
      I want to thank Laura for traveling with me today. She's been
      traveling with me for a long time. (Laughter.) And for a public school
      librarian, the highway has been a little bumpier than she probably
      thought. But she is -- she shares the same passion I do, and that is
      to put systems in place to encourage every child to learn to read. And
      so thank you for coming, looking forward to working with you on
      education matters during the next four years.
      I want to thank Rod Paige, who's joined us. Rod is the outgoing
      Secretary of Education. Four years ago when I was looking at the
      Cabinet, I decided to pick somebody who had been on the front lines of
      educational excellence. Rod was the former superintendent of schools
      in the Houston Independent School District. That's the front lines.
      And the results of his hard work are noticeable in Houston. And I want
      to thank you, Rod, for not only serving in Houston, but coming from
      the great state of Texas to serve our country for four years. (Applause.)
      I don't know whether the senators will think this is breaking
      protocol, but Margaret Spellings is traveling with me today. Let's
      just say she is my domestic policy advisor -- and if the Senate so
      decides, will succeed Rod as the Secretary of Education. I don't know
      where you are, Margaret. There you are. Thanks, yes. (Applause.) I
      suspect that if confirmed, the seat will improve. (Laughter.)
      Again, I want to thank Mel Riddile for being such a fine principal.
      He's what I would call an educational entrepreneur. You can't have a
      good school unless you've got a good leader. And the principal is the
      leader of the school, and I appreciate you. I appreciate your spirit.
      I appreciate your vision, and I appreciate the high standards. (Applause.)
      And I want to thank the superintendent of schools for recognizing that
      this good man is a good principal. And I want to thank you for being
      here, Jack. Jack Dale -- Dr. Jack Dale is with us, who is the
      superintendent of the Fairfax County Public School District. Thanks
      for taking on a big job. (Applause.)
      I was pleased to see that United States senators from the great state
      -- or the Commonwealth of Virginia have joined us. Senator John Warner
      is with us today. I'm honored you're here, Senator. Thank you for
      coming. (Applause.) Senator George Allen is with us. Thank you for
      being here, George. (Applause.) Congressman Tom Davis, proud you're
      here. (Applause.) A member of the Stuart PTA, I presume? At one time.
      After all, his daughter Shelley graduated from the high school here. I
      want to thank you all for coming. I appreciate the attorney general of
      the great state of Virginia joining us, Jerry Kilgore. (Applause.) I
      want to thank all the state and local officials. Thanks once again to
      the students and parents for allowing me to come today.
      This is one of the first stops in the year 2005 for me. And there's a
      reason why it's one of the first stops, is we are dedicated to doing
      everything we can at the federal level to improve public education.
      You can't have a hopeful America without a public school system that's
      working to the best of its abilities. I'm optimistic we can achieve
      that, and I'm optimistic we can achieve a lot of things. I'm
      optimistic we can spread freedom, and therefore peace around the
      world. I'm optimistic that we can continue to protect our homeland.
      I'm looking forward to working with our fellow citizens to continue to
      spread the great compassion of America. I want to thank those of you
      in this audience who have contributed to the tsunami relief effort. I
      appreciate so very much our fellow citizens for joining President
      Clinton and President Bush in lending your heart, through your money,
      to help those who suffer. The federal government will continue to
      remain focused on making sure the victims of that natural disaster get
      the best help possible.
      I'm going to continue to work in 2005 to keep this economy of ours
      strong so people can find work. And one way to do so is to keep your
      taxes low and to reduce the burden of junk lawsuits and needless
      regulations on our nation's employers. (Applause.)
      Looking forward to making sure that, to the best of our ability, that
      health care is more affordable and available.
      It's hard for me to come to a high school class and look at our
      youngsters and say, the Social Security system is in good shape when I
      understand it's not. To the seniors of America, nothing is going to
      change when it comes to your Social Security check. But if this
      Congress doesn't join this administration in working to reform and
      strengthen Social Security, we will not be able to look at the high
      school seniors of today and say, we have done our duty in protecting
      Social Security for you, for, after all, the system will be bankrupt
      by the year 2040. And now is the time for the United States Congress
      to join with the administration to save and strengthen Social Security
      for generations to come. (Applause.)
      To keep this country prosperous and to keep this country hopeful,
      we've got to make sure these public schools of ours stay strong, and
      we started on that road to strengthening every public school three
      years ago, when I signed the No Child Left Behind Act. The theory of
      this law is straightforward, it's pretty easy to understand: that in
      return for federal dollars, we are asking for results. That makes
      sense if you're a taxpayer. It makes sense, frankly, if you're an
      innovative teacher and a strong principal. We're leaving behind the
      old attitude that it's okay for some students just to be shuffled
      through the system. That's not okay. And three years ago we began to
      change the system that too often had given up on a child, primarily
      those children whose mothers or dads didn't speak English as a first
      language or those children who may be growing up in inner-city
      America, whose mom or dad didn't have big income levels. This
      administration believes, and most people in America believe that every
      child can learn.
      And so we're raising the standards for every public school in America.
      If you believe every child can learn, then it makes sense to raise the
      bar, not lower the bar. (Applause.) If you believe every child can
      learn, hen it makes sense to measure to determine whether every child
      is learning. That's called accountability, accountability for results.
      Accountability is so crucial to achieve our goal for every child
      learning to read, write, add and subtract. Accountability helps to
      correct problems early, before it is too late. Accountability enables
      a good teacher to test a curriculum as to whether or not that
      curriculum is working. Accountability allows principals and teachers
      to determine whether methodology is working. Accountability also is a
      way to make sure parents stay involved in the educational systems
      across our country.
      You know, for a while, in certain districts, a parent -- you'd ask a
      parent, how is your school doing? And the parent's natural reaction
      is, it's the best there is. In some cases, like the parents here at
      Stuart High, they're right. But in some cases, because there was no
      accountability system, they were wrong. Accountability system allows a
      parent or a local official or concerned citizen to compare results
      from one school to another within a district, and from one district to
      another within a state. And that's important. Because by putting
      parents in the center of the school system, it not only encourages
      parental responsibility, it enables parents to demand reform when
      there -- reform needs to be done. It enables parents, when they see
      excellence, to do what every parent should do, and that is thank the
      teacher and the principal for a job well done. (Applause.)
      Accountability systems don't work unless there are consequences. And
      so in the No Child Left Behind Act, if a school fails to make
      progress, parents have options. They can send their child to free
      after-school tutoring, or they can send their child to a different
      public school.
      For the past three years, thanks to Rod Paige's hard work, these
      reforms have been put into action. All 50 states, plus the District of
      Columbia and Puerto Rico, have drawn up plans to measure performance
      in every school. And the reporting process is beginning to work.
      But more importantly than the process of putting reform in place is
      that we're beginning to see results. If you measure, you get to
      determine whether or not we're achieving things. Fourth grade math
      test scores across this nation went up nine points between the years
      2000 and 2003. Eighth graders improved by five points in the same
      period. In other words, because we measure, I can now stand up and
      say, we're beginning to close an achievement gap in America.
      (Applause.) We've got reading scores -- reading scores for 4th graders
      increased in the vast majority of states that tested between 1998 and
      2003, including Virginia. African American and Hispanic and Native
      American children are beginning to learn to read. There is a
      significant achievement gap in America, and that is not right. And
      we're closing that gap. And you know how we know, is because we
      measure, because we're willing to devise measurement systems, not at
      the federal level, but at the state level.
      The results in Virginia are strong. Last school year, 69 percent of
      the schools met their target for progress. That's up 10 percentage
      points from the previous year. That's great. Except I'm now focused on
      the other 31 percent, and I know the government here in Virginia will
      be as focused, as well. Sixty-nine percent and an increase of 10
      percent is really good news.
      But one day, I hope to be able to stand here in my term, or a future
      President or a future governor, and say, we're up to 100 percent
      success in the great state of Virginia. That's what we want. We're not
      interested in mediocrity. We're interested in excellence, so not one
      single child is left behind in our country.
      African American and Hispanic students in your state improved their
      scores in reading and math. Things are happening in America. Things
      are happening in Virginia. A lot of it has to do with good principals
      and hard-working teachers, and I understand that.
      You know, the people of this country are probably saying, why did you
      come to Stuart High School? And let me tell you why. It wasn't so long
      ago that Stuart High School was a troubled school. I can't remember
      what the words the principal used. I think he said that they deemed it
      to be a "failure," if I'm not mistaken. Nobody -- at least the people
      in this school didn't want to be called a "failure." So you set out to
      do something about it. In 1997, the test scores were the lowest in
      Fairfax County, and among the lowest in all of Virginia.
      By focusing on results and stressing the importance of reading, by
      making sure that the measurement systems focuses on each individual
      child, by not tolerating excuses for failure, this school has been
      turned around. (Applause.) And how do we know? See, I can say that
      with certainty -- in other words, I'm not guessing. I'm not saying,
      oh, you know, the principal looks like a pretty good guy and the
      teachers sounded smart and the students are cheering loudly.
      (Laughter.) I know because you measure. The test scores in reading and
      math are now above the state average, and the trend lines are
      excellent. Dr. Riddile told me what you would expect. He said, I am
      really proud of the students here. He said, we're willing to do what
      it takes for the students to succeed. I like that attitude; I hope the
      parents like that attitude, as well. Whatever it takes for the
      students to succeed. He said, it's not magic. It takes hard work and
      smart work, and that's something other schools can do.
      I'm here at Stuart High School because I want other schools who have
      got a student population as diverse as a Stuart High School does to
      know that success and excellence is possible. (Applause.) And the goal
      for our high schools around our country is for them to achieve the
      same good results you've achieved here at Stuart -- seems like a
      realistic goal. And, yet, many of our nation's high schools face
      serious challenges.
      Out of a hundred 9th graders in our public schools, only 68 will
      complete high school on time. Now, we live in a competitive world. And
      a 68 percent graduation rate for 9th graders is not good enough to be
      able to compete in this competitive world. In math and science, the
      problem is especially urgent. A recent study showed that American
      15-year-olds ranked 27th out of 39 countries in math literacy. I don't
      know about you, but I want to be ranked first in the world, not 27th.
      I view the results in our high school as a warning, and a call to
      action. And I believe the federal government has a role to play. As
      you can tell, I believe the federal government had a role to play in
      primary education, and I believe the federal government has a role to
      play in secondary education. Up to now, the reforms, as I've explained
      to you, focus on the primary schools. Today, I propose a $1.5 billion
      initiative to help every high school student graduate with the skills
      necessary to succeed. (Applause.) Before you get too nervous, please
      understand that I strongly believe in local control of schools. I
      don't believe you can have innovation at Stuart High School if the
      federal government is trying to teach you how to run your school.
      The role of the federal government is to -- is to serve as a funding
      source for specific projects, and an instigator for accountability
      systems. The accountability system is, of course, devised by local
      people. The state of Virginia has devised its own accountability
      system. I don't believe in a federal test. I believe a federal test
      leads to federal control, and I believe federal control of the public
      school systems leads to failure. (Applause.) And so I believe the
      federal government has an obligation to help in a way that helps local
      districts and local schools achieve our objectives. Some of that money
      ought to be -- that I've just announced will go to early intervention
      Under this plan, high school teachers will analyze 8th grade test data
      for incoming 9th grade students so that when they see a student at
      risk of falling behind, the teachers and the parents can get together
      and design a program to help make sure that child can catch up, before
      it's too late. I believe in programs being flexible and uniquely
      tailored to each student's needs, just like you do here at Stuart High
      School. And so this program will enable and help school districts and
      schools intervene early, assess and design programs that meet the
      needs of that particular student.
      To support intervention plans, I believe we need to improve the way
      the federal government funds high schools. The federal government --
      oh, we've got a lot of programs designed to help high school students;
      over the years, programs have developed. The problem is they're like
      silos. They're prescriptions that may not meet the needs of the local
      high school, or the local school district -- you know, a program to
      promote vocational education, or to prepare for college preparation,
      or to encourage school restructuring. They all sound fine, and they're
      all important. But they may not be what is necessary for a particular
      school district or a high school to achieve the objective of teaching
      every child to read and write and add and subtract. So I believe we
      ought to consolidate the high school improvement programs so that
      states have the flexibility to choose the program that works best for
      their students. (Applause.)
      See, we've got to be careful about pre-judging results in Washington,
      D.C. We ought to say, you can achieve the results, and here's the
      flexibility necessary to do so. And by giving you flexibility, it
      means we're -- we're more likely to achieve the results that we all want.
      To ensure that the intervention programs are working and graduates are
      prepared, we need to be certain that high school students are learning
      every year. So the second component of my high school initiative is to
      measure progress with tests in reading and math in the 9th, 10th and
      11th grade. (Applause.) Listen, I've heard every excuse in the book
      not to test. My answer is, how do you know if a child is learning if
      you don't test. We've got money in the budget to help the states
      implement the tests. There should be no excuse saying, well, it's an
      unfunded mandate. Forget it -- it will be funded. I've heard people
      say you're teaching the test; if you teach a child to read, they'll
      pass the test. Testing is important. Testing at high school levels
      will help us to become more competitive as the years go by. Testing in
      high schools will make sure that our children are employable for the
      jobs of the 21st century. Testing will allow teachers to improve their
      classes. Testing will enable schools to track. Testing will make sure
      that diploma is not merely a sign of endurance, but the mark of a
      young person ready to succeed. (Applause.)
      The principal of this great school said we spell hope: R-E-A-D. I
      thought that's a pretty darn good slogan. And the reason why that's a
      good slogan is to make sure every high school student has a chance to
      realize his or her dreams, each graduate must read -- must know how to
      read. You can't -- you cannot achieve in America if you cannot read
      and, yet, too many of our children cannot read. And so I'm asking
      Congress to increase funding for my Striving Readers Initiative to
      $200 million. We'll use these resources to help more than a hundred
      school districts train teachers in research-based methods so they can
      provide effective interventions for middle and high school students
      struggling in reading.
      There is such a program here at Stuart. One reason why Stuart is doing
      so well is because you've got an intervention program when it comes to
      reading. How do I know? I met with the intervener. (Laughter.) I met
      with the person who designed the reading program. I met with the
      person whose force of personality is so huge that not only are people
      working on reading in reading classes, but they're doing so at P.E.
      and math, and that is the reading coach, Sandy Switzer, who is with us
      today. Thank you for your -- (applause.) She knows what she's talking
      about. And as a result, the high school students here are reading.
      And it sounds odd, doesn't it, for the President to stand up and say,
      we need to focus on reading in high school. But that's the state of
      affairs. Someday, when No Child Left Behind is fully implemented and
      kicked in, there are not going to need to be early intervention
      programs or intervention reading programs in high school. But, today,
      we need them. And, therefore, this program will help school districts
      make sure that at the very minimum, a high school graduate has got the
      capacity to read.
      I met with Zenab Abu-Taleb today. She is from Syria. And three of her
      daughters -- one has gone to this school, and two others -- by the
      way, one of them is going to college, which is a fantastic achievement
      for the family. And she was talking about what it means to have her
      daughters in Ms. Switzer's reading program. And I'm not going to put
      words in her mouth, but I will describe the excitement that she had in
      her voice when she talked about the fact that her girls are learning
      to read, are becoming literate. She did something pretty smart,
      though, by the way, and I hope other parents around the nation follow
      suit. She said to her girls: you will be reading more than you watch
      TV. (Laughter.) That's pretty hard to do. (Applause.)
      She's excited by the fact that Ms. Switzer and the teachers here are
      using research-based reading programs. I'm sure some of you are aware
      of these reading debates that go on around the country, endless hours
      of air time are spent -- this one works, this one doesn't work. The
      only way you can know is you measure.
      And so Ms. Switzer has taken a program that achieves measurable
      results and is spreading it all across this school. And as a result,
      the students here are improving dramatically when it comes to reading.
      And as a result, test scores in other subjects are improving
      dramatically, as well. Congratulations for a job well done. (Applause.)
      To make sure that people can find work in the 21st century, high
      school graduates also need a firm grasp on math. I'm proposing a $120
      million initiative to improve high school math. With these funds,
      school districts will set up programs to train math teachers in
      methods proven to succeed. Every student should be prepared in math so
      that every graduate has the skills necessary to succeed.
      I talked to Stuart Singer. He's a math teacher here. You may have
      heard of him. (Applause.) He's only been here 32 years. (Laughter.) He
      recognizes what I recognize: that the best jobs are those that require
      math, some sense of understanding of math. And too many of our
      students don't understand that -- understand math. And we've got to
      get it right. I want to thank you for teaching, Stuart. Stuart, by the
      way -- you're not going to believe this -- falls in the incredibly
      small world category. He graduated from SMU in Dallas the same year
      that Laura graduated from SMU in Dallas. (Applause.) I asked him if
      they ever went to the bar together. (Laughter.) Both of them said, no,
      they were in the library. (Laughter and applause.) It probably
      distinguishes their college career from mine. (Laughter and applause.)
      One of the things we must be willing to always do is raise the bar.
      We've got to continue to raise the bar in our high schools. And one of
      the best ways to do so is by promoting advanced placement and the
      international baccalaureate programs. At Stuart High, you've got a
      fantastic IB program. It really means that you're willing to challenge
      every student. That's what it says. It just says, we're not going to
      be -- we just simply will not accept the status quo, that we're going
      to try to bring innovative programs to this school to continue to
      raise the bar, to challenge students as best as we possibly can.
      Stuart, by the way, offers an IB course -- or IB courses. He talks
      about former students that have come back from college that have taken
      the IB classes, and he says -- he says, the sacrifice -- they say, the
      sacrifice is worth it; It makes a big impact. And that's important.
      And so for the students here wondering whether or not the American
      experience or the American future belongs to you, absolutely. But it's
      up to you to decide to continue to soar and to seek new heights. And
      this school, one reason Stuart succeeds is because the school
      continually raises standards and raises expectations.
      And that's what we need to do around the country. Every student with
      the passion and ability to take an AP or IB class should have the
      opportunity to do so. That's why we've increased federal support for
      AP and IB programs; a 73 percent increase over the current amount is
      what I'm proposing. These programs will help school districts train
      teachers to offer college-level courses. In other words, you can't
      offer a program in a high school unless the teachers are trained to do so.
      And we also need to help low-income students pay for the tests. It
      does not make any sense that a family budget, when it comes to taking
      AP tests or IB tests, should stand between a student's dreams and the
      ability to take the test (Applause.)
      Another way to encourage students to take demanding courses is through
      the state scholars program. In Virginia, you have a similar program
      which gives high schoolers an incentive to take advanced courses in
      math and science and other subjects. That makes a lot of sense. Taking
      high-level courses like these makes the graduates more likely to
      succeed. And so it makes sense for the federal government to work with
      the state government, and the state government to work with local
      districts to continue to provide incentives to encourage students to
      take tougher and tougher courses, to take a more rigorous course load.
      And so we're going to continue to fund state scholars programs around
      the country because they get results.
      And I believe another way to encourage students to take rigorous
      classes is to enhance the Pell grants scholarships for low-income
      students who've completed the state scholars program. (Applause.) High
      achieving students -- high achieving students who take rigorous course
      loads will receive up to an additional thousand dollars during each of
      their first two years in college. (Applause.)
      Let me talk about our nation's teachers. I was the governor of Texas
      once, and one our great governors was Sam Houston. And he had been a
      United States senator and a governor. He was actually the president of
      Texas. We were a country once. (Laughter.) He had a lot of interesting
      jobs. He was quite a colorful character. They asked him toward the end
      of his life, what was the most important thing he had ever done. He
      said, being a teacher. I want to thank the teachers who are here.
      You've got a tough job, but you have a vital job. (Applause.)
      By the way, I want to thank the parents who take an interest in your
      child's education. A mom or a dad is the child's first teacher. And a
      school -- I bet you've got a pretty strong PTA here, and I want to
      thank the parents for staying involved with school. The teachers, I
      know, appreciate it. I'm sure the principal appreciates it, most of
      the time. (Laughter.) But I appreciate your involvement, it means a lot.
      Lastly, I want to thank the Congress for sending a bill called the
      Crayola Credit, which reimburses teachers for up to $250 of
      out-of-pocket classroom expenses. It's an important signal that we
      care of our teachers. It's a proper use of federal legislation.
      And we also passed a good piece of legislation that expanded loan
      forgiveness from $5,000 to $17,500 for talented math, science and
      special ed teachers who teach at low-income schools. I thought that
      was a good piece of legislation. (Applause.) Unfortunately --
      unfortunately, it's about to expire. So I would hope the Congress --
      we can work with the Congress to make loan forgiveness permanent. It
      sends the right signals to our teachers and helps school districts
      that are looking for good teachers to attract those teachers.
      And, finally, I believe the federal government can put a program
      together to help reward success for our teachers. I proposed a new
      $500 million incentive fund to reward teachers who get results.
      Teachers could qualify for an award by raising student performance, or
      closing the achievement gap, or volunteering to teach in low-income
      schools. That will be up to the local districts to decide how to
      disburse the money. But I think it makes sense to encourage excellence
      by providing a $5,000 bonus to nearly a 100,000 outstanding teachers
      across the country. The program won't be administered at the federal
      level. It will be administered at the state and local level. But it's
      a way to help say to teachers, thanks for a job well done. Here's a
      little extra because of merit. Here's -- here's our way of saying
      thanks for doing what you want to do, which is to provide excellence.
      And so here's some practical ideas for the Congress to consider as we
      head into a new session, to make sure that the good folks of this
      country understand that we're committed to education reform at all
      levels. We're making great progress of the No Child Left Behind Act. I
      will vigorously defend the No Child Left Behind Act. We will not
      accept rolling back the -- the accountability systems in the No Child
      Left Behind Act, because I believe the accountability systems are
      beginning to make a huge difference in the lives of children from all
      walks of life across this country. (Applause.)
      Here's some ideas to 9th graders when they're coming into high school,
      so we can assess their problems and meet their needs before they lose
      hope, so the 68 percent graduation number soars. Here's a way to help
      reward teachers. Here's a way to provide good incentives. Here's a way
      to make sure that we achieve what we all want: the best school system
      in the world.
      Thank you for letting me come by to visit. May God bless you all.
      Thank you all. (Applause.)
      END 11:10 A.M. EST
      Quelle: White House Press Office

      Found at http://www.mysan.de/international/article23938.html

      Bush wants no high-schooler left behind
      $1.5 billion plan aims to extend tests to grade 11

      Thursday, January 13, 2005
      By Karen MacPherson and Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

      WASHINGTON -- President Bush yesterday proposed a $1.5 billion federal
      initiative to require high school students -- through grade 11 -- to
      take annual standardized tests in reading and math.

      Speaking at the J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Va., Bush
      said expanding yearly testing to high school students will help narrow
      the achievement gap facing many minority students and counter the
      nation's high school drop-out rate.

      Bush said his plan for high schools also would boost federal funding
      in other areas. Among them: $200 million for a literacy program for
      struggling adolescents, $120 million to improve the way high school
      math is taught and $500 million to give financial rewards to teachers
      whose students show improved achievement.

      Bush's initiative also includes more federal dollars for programs
      aimed at top high school students, including a 73 percent increase for
      Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, $12
      million to expand state scholar programs and a $2,000 increase in Pell
      grants for high-achieving, low-income students.

      But the centerpiece is Bush's effort to extend the yearly testing
      requirements of the No Child Left Behind Law, which is focused on
      narrowing the achievement gap that leaves many African-American and
      Hispanic students lagging behind white and Asian students. The
      3-year-old law requires students to be tested annually in reading and
      math in grades three through eight, and at least once during high
      school. Schools are held accountable for yearly increases in student

      Many states still are implementing the law. In Pennsylvania, students
      are tested in reading and math in the third, fifth, eighth and 11th
      grades, but the state hasn't yet devised tests for the other grades.

      Bush also earmarked $250 million to mandate the 12th grade National
      Assessment of Educational Progress in reading and math in each state
      every two years, as it is in fourth and eighth grades. That for the
      first time would let states compare results for high school seniors.

      Bush's proposal drew immediate criticism from Democrats and some
      education groups. While lauding his effort to improve high schools,
      these critics contended that the president should fully fund the
      current No Child Left Behind Law before expanding it to more grades.

      During Bush's tenure, federal education funding has risen by 40
      percent, from $17.3 billion to $24.3 billion. But critics, including
      the National Education Association and the American Federation of
      Teachers, contend that the increase hasn't matched his pledges and
      isn't enough to pay costs of creating and grading tests that the new
      law requires.

      Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., ranking Democrat on the House Education
      and Workforce Committee, argued that, in the past three years, schools
      "have been shortchanged $27 billion compared to what they were
      promised" under the No Child Left Behind Law. "This proposal for high
      school, regardless of what merits it might or might not have, will
      encounter stiff resistance in Congress and in the country," he said,
      "until President Bush fulfills the commitments that already have been
      made to our public schools."

      Pennsylvania Department of Education spokeswoman Stephanie Suran said,
      "High schools need to be a part of all education reform efforts, which
      is why Pennsylvania recently began Project 720, ... [which uses]
      research-based practices to improve the academic rigor of our high
      schools." But Suran noted that state officials also believe that
      extending annual testing to high school students "would require
      significant additional federal investments."

      (Karen MacPherson can be reached at 202-662-7075 or
      kmacpherson@.... Eleanor Chute can be reached at
      412-263-1955 or echute@....)

      Found at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05013/441440.stm

      related links at:

      A Faith-Based Recipe for Disaster
      January 31, 2001 http://www.geocities.com/fountoftruth/faithbas.html

      Public Schools (religious neutrality)

      Reactions to new No Child Left Behind Act
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.