April 30, 2003, Extra Credit
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April 30, 2003
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President Bush Honors Teachers of the Year and Announces Approval of Three More State Accountability Plans
At a White House ceremony earlier today, President Bush honored the state Teachers of the Year, recognized Betsy Rogers of Alabama as the National Teacher of the Year, and announced the approval of the state accountability plans of Arkansas, Missouri, and Washington. Following are excerpts from the President's remarks:

"The teachers we honor today come from many different backgrounds, from every part of this country. What unites them all is the deep conviction that every child can learn if given the chance. (Applause.) We honor them because they are willing to raise high expectations, to raise the standards for every child, because they know that with high expectations each child can rise to meet them."

"When I campaigned for President, I used to say one of the commitments I would make is we would challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations. You all have challenged the soft bigotry by setting high standards. You believed in the worth of every child. A good teacher believes in the possibilities of every boy and girl. A good teacher sees what is possible, and a good teacher believes in the responsibility of every school to bring out the best in every student."

"I'm pleased to announce today that Secretary Paige has approved plans from Arkansas, Missouri and Washington State, which bring—(applause)—which bring the total number of approved plans to 16, covering 16 million children in public schools across America."

"Secretary Paige's department will continue working with the rest of the states to get the plans approved as quickly as possible. People are responding to the challenge at the local level. People are beginning to develop the accountability systems to show your states and your communities that you're doing your job, leaving no doubt in the minds of the parents and taxpayers and citizens -- some of whom praise public schools, some of whom are critical of public schools -- that, in fact, you're performing. They will understand why you're here being honored in Washington, D.C., as one of the top 54 teachers around our country."

The complete text of President Bush's remarks can be found at:


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/23/2003