President Clinton Touts Education Reform Agenda - April 14, 2000

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 14, 2000


April 14, 2000

Today, in an address to the Education Writers Association conference in Atlanta, President Clinton will highlight the Administration's strategy of investing more in our schools and demanding more from them. The President will also release a new Education Department report detailing the substantial progress he and Vice President Gore have made in boosting accountability and student achievement, strengthening teacher quality, making schools safer, expanding school choice and charter schools, and opening the doors of college to all Americans. The President will call on Congress to pass an education bill that invests in proven strategies for reform – instead of gimmicks like vouchers – and includes his Education Accountability Act, which requires states to help turn around failing schools or shut them down. Finally, the President will announce he is leading a School Reform Tour in May, during which he will travel to schools across the country that are meeting high standards and investing in reform.

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION SINCE 1993. The report that the President will release today, Challenging the Status Quo: The Clinton-Gore Education Record outlines the Administration's progress in improving public education. The report also details how the Clinton-Gore agenda for education reform – investing more and demanding more – has achieved results for all Americans, especially those most in need. For example, the report finds that reading scores of 4th graders in the highest-poverty schools rose almost an entire grade level between 1992 and 1996. Low-income high school graduates are now attending college at all-time high rates, and 90 percent of the poorest schools now have access to the Internet, up from 19 percent in 1993.

INVESTING MORE AND DEMANDING MORE TO RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. Since taking office in 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made standards and accountability, as well as investment in proven strategies, the centerpieces of their education reform agenda. Beginning with the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which required states to develop and implement standards and assessments by 2000-01, the Administration has pursued an agenda of demanding more from public schools. In 1999, the Administration proposed and Congress enacted an Education Accountability Fund, which provides funds to districts to turn around failing schools and allows parents to send children to higher-performing public schools. In addition, the President sent Congress an ESEA reauthorization proposal, which would require states to turn around failing schools or shut them down. The President today will tout his agenda of accountability and high standards, but he will also emphasize that teachers and schools need support and resources to reach those standards. While presiding over an era of fiscal discipline, the Administration has nearly doubled the nation’s investment in education and training. These investments have helped to raise student achievement in reading and math, enroll more children in Head Start, reduce class size in the early grades, provide after-school and summer school opportunities to 850,000 students, boost the percentage of classrooms with Internet access from 3 percent in 1993 to 65 percent today, support charter schools, and open the doors of college to all.

PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES A TOUR OF PROMISING SCHOOLS AND REFORM EFFORTS. Finally, the President today will announce that he will embark on a School Reform Tour in May. The President will visit schools across the country to highlight promising reform efforts where high standards are producing results and accelerating achievement. The tour will also highlight the challenges our schools must meet to give all children a world-class education – and the investments that are needed to help them address those challenges.




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