In response to lagging achievement and completion rates in the nations high schools, the presidents High School Initiative would hold high schools accountable for teaching all students and provide timely intervention for those students who are not achieving at grade level. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that every student graduates from high school with the skills to succeed in either higher education or our globally competitive workforce. In addition, the presidents budget shifts more decision-making power to states by consolidating programs dedicated to a specific purpose and reallocates that money to states to use in order to get better results. In the FY 2006 budget request, the president includes nearly $1.5 billion for the two key components of the High School Initiative:
- A High School Intervention program that would provide $1.24 billion to support specific interventions, including performance plans for each student, designed to improve the academic achievement of students at greatest risk of not meeting challenging state academic standards and not completing high school; and
- A new High School Assessments proposal that would provide $250 million to add, by the 2009-10 school year, annual assessments at two additional high school grades, which, along with the one grade currently required by NCLB, would ensure that students are assessed at least three times during high school. Coupled with the current testing requirements of NCLB, students will be tested every year from grade 3 to grade 11.
The presidents 2006 budget also includes more than $400 million for related proposals to strengthen high school achievement, including $200 million to expand the use of research-based interventions for high school students who read below grade level and thus are at greater risk for dropping out of school; $120 million to accelerate the mathematics achievement of secondary school students through research-based professional development for math teachers; $51.5 million to increase the availability of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs in high-poverty schools; $12 million to encourage students to take more rigorous courses through the State Scholars program; and $33 million in Enhanced Pell Grants for State Scholars as they start their higher education pursuits.
Those interested in learning more about President Bushs new education proposals can order a free copy of the booklet: No Child Left Behind: Expanding the Promise–Guide to President Bushs FY 2006 Education Agenda by:
- Calling the U.S. Department of Educations Publications Center (ED Pubs) toll-free at 1-877-4-ED-PUBS (1-877-433-7827); TTY/TDD: 1-877-576-7734; FAX: 1-301-470-1244;
- Writing to request a copy: ED Pubs, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398.
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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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