The following is an excerpt from remarks by President George W. Bush via satellite to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Annual Convention last Thursday, July 8:
"The first commitment of an opportunity society is a good public school in every neighborhood. To succeed and rise in the world, a student must know the basics of reading and math. Parents are entitled to expect these basics from their schools. I believe strongly every school has a duty to teach the basics."
"My judgment is too many children in America have been just shuffled through the system without learning essential [skills]. It's easy to quit on a boy or girl from an immigrant family. We've got to end that practice of social promotion. We've got to stop the practice of hearing only excuses from a bureaucracy. When it comes to our fundamental obligation to children, there is no excuse [for] failure, because I believe every child can learn. And that is why I proposed and signed the No Child Left Behind Act."
"We've increased federal funding for Title I schools, which serves the poorer students, by 41 percent over the last three years. And in return, because I believe every child can learn, we're requiring schools to measure performance of all students to make sure every child is learning. And that is how you make sure that every child can read and write and add and subtract. That is how you can make sure the dreams of every parent in America can be achieved."
"We're measuring achievement in math and reading and we're getting results. You see, when you raise the bar and call upon results, you can get results. The Council of Great City Schools released a study on the progress since No Child Left Behind took effect. The study examined 61 urban school districts and found that more than two-thirds of grades tested showed improvement in both reading and math amongst Hispanic students, and that's what we want. We want progress, substantial progress. And my pledge to you is I'm going to continue to work to bring about more progress so every child can have a chance to realize the great promise of a country. "
"What I hope you do is join me in understanding that when politicians criticize testing and high standards, they do a disservice to our schools, to the parents and to the students. In other words, what they're saying is they're choosing bureaucracy over our children. Instead of undermining standards, we're striving to meet those standards in every part of America. I made a promise to LULAC and to others to improve the nation's public schools; I'm delivering on that promise."
The complete text of President Bushs remarks is available online.
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