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July 2, 2003, Extra Credit
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July 2, 2003
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Measurement is a Key to Academic Excellence
President Bush visited a school in Washington, D.C. yesterday to discuss education reform. Following are excerpts from his remarks:

"[The] No Child Left Behind Act understands that there must be accountability, and the way you achieve accountability is you measure. And so now we're measuring a lot. We're measuring annually to determine whether or not the children can read and write and add and subtract. We've got to know that. The first fundamental question in terms of achieving educational excellence is to measure and to provide the test and to see whether or not the children have got the basics; and if they do, recognize that the curriculum being used is working. If they don't, recognize something has got to change."

"See, the measurement is not meant to punish, it is meant to remedy. It is meant to serve as a diagnostic tool. No one ever wants to measure, to hold a good teacher up and say, gosh, you've got a good heart, but you're doing a lousy job, therefore, you're a failure. That's not the reason you measure. The reason you measure is you say to a teacher, you've got a great heart, but you need to fine-tune what you're doing because it's not working right now."

"Let me summarize by saying, first of all, there's a lot of great teachers in America. There's a lot of great teachers right here in Washington, D.C. There's a lot of good, hardworking folks. And we need to always keep in mind the need to praise our teachers and to praise people on the front lines of education."

"Sometimes, however, the system, the curriculum, whatever it may be, it becomes stagnant. And wherever we find mediocrity, this society has an obligation to challenge that. And that's what we're talking about today. We're talking about making sure no child gets left behind by focusing on each child."


About Extra Credit
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.

If you would like the NCLB Extra Credit emailed to you, please send a request to Geoff Goodman at NoChildLeftBehindUpdate@ed.gov or call (202) 205-9191.

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