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July 14, 2005 Extra Credit
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July 14, 2005

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"American Children Have Made Significant Gains"

The following are excerpts from President Bush’s address today to the Indiana Black Expo Corporate Luncheon. He spoke about the new results released from the long-term NAEP, or "Nation’s Report Card":

"To ensure that the promise of America reaches all our citizens, we must begin with education…. Our nation took an historic step toward that goal of making sure every child is educated three years ago, when Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act….

"We raised the standards, and we said to local school districts, show us. That’s all we want to know. We want to know whether or not a child can read. And we’re making good progress as result of this new way of thinking.

"This morning the latest scores for the long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress were announced…. I’m proud to come here to talk about the new results….

"Over the last five years, American children have made significant gains. Math scores for 13-year-olds have increased by five points. Math scores for 9-year-olds have increased by nine points. And reading scores for 9-year-olds jumped seven points. (Applause) America’s 13-year-olds have earned the highest math scores ever recorded. Nine-year-olds posted the best scores ever in reading and math.

"What I’m telling you is across America more children are learning. The success of young students is setting them on the path to a lifetime of achievement. And we’re making big differences in the lives of African Americans…. I’m talking about good teachers, and good principals, and engaged parents. This is not the federal government. It is the people at the local level who are making a huge difference in the lives of their students. (Applause)

"…The Nation’s Report Card shows that reading scores for African American 9-year-olds have jumped 14 points over the past five years. (Applause) Math scores have jumped 13 points in the same period of time. These are the highest scores ever in the history of the test. The achievement gap is starting to close. And that’s good for the future of America.

"The gap between white and African American 9-year-olds in reading is the narrowest it’s ever been in the history of the 30-year test. These results show that when performance is measured, and schools are held accountable, every child can succeed. That’s what it shows. And we’re making progress toward achieving a dream where every single child in America gets a good education, and not one child is left behind." (Applause)

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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: 07/14/2005