U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Announces the Release of "Great Expectations"
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January 8, 2009
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Great Expectations

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the release of Great Expectations. The document examines the history of public education in America and how students once left behind are now leading the way. Secretary Spellings announced the release at an education reform roundtable President Bush hosted at General Philip Kearny Elementary School in Philadelphia celebrating the seventh anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act.

"Great Expectations explores education's evolution in America from a privilege for a few to a necessity for all. It tells the story of a remarkable comeback by our nation's students who are achieving record high test scores in reading and math and reveals the reforms that have led to these results," said Secretary Spellings. "Most importantly, Great Expectations reminds us that our work has just begun - we cannot turn back or slow down - in fact, we must pick up the pace to ensure a quality education for all."

Great Expectations is divided into the following eight sections:

  • A History of Expectations traces the history of the public school in America and its shift in the 20th century away from academic achievement.

  • The Search for Accountability focuses on our nation's response to declining test scores and a widening achievement gap, and the growing coalition of parents and business and community leaders demanding change.

  • Education as a Civil Right describes the bipartisan passage of the No Child Left Behind Act and how it is helping at-risk students realize their potential.

  • Doing What Works shows how annual testing and data-based accountability are helping us identify what works and fix what does not.

  • Recognizing and Rewarding Teachers outlines our support for qualified and effective teachers, the key to academic achievement.

  • Higher Education That Aims Higher details efforts to ensure college students are prepared to learn from day one and our universities and colleges are accessible, affordable, and accountable.

  • New Choices for a New Century looks at how charter schools, choice, and other innovative options are giving kids a lifeline and driving schools to improve.

  • What's Next? A Future of Reform and Results offers a vision of a brighter, opportunity-filled future for our children and a roadmap to get us there.

To read Great Expectations in its entirety, visit



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Last Modified: 01/08/2009