Mrs. Laura Bush, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings Surprise American Star of Teaching in Des Moines, Iowa
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September 8, 2005
Contacts: Susan Aspey or Sarah Sauber
(202) 401-1576

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Secretary's Remarks

Mrs. Laura Bush and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced Judy Kinley of Lovejoy Elementary as Iowa's American Star of Teaching in a surprise ceremony. Kinley is a master math educator for Lovejoy Elementary and Des Moines Public Schools.

"Kinley represents those professionals who see teaching as a calling, not a job," Secretary Spellings said. "No Child Left Behind is working. The data show we are closing the achievement gap and seeing results. Teachers are an integral part of that success, and we salute them for their hard work and commitment to education."

Lovejoy Elementary School is located on the south side of Des Moines. A Title I school with almost 70 percent of its students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, Lovejoy met its state-set achievement goals, or Adequate Yearly Progress, this year. With over 400 students, almost 40 percent of them are Hispanic, 5 percent are African-American, 4.6 percent are Asian, and 53.4 percent are white.

Judy Kinley is one of the many excellent teachers in Iowa who has high expectations for all students and believes all children can achieve. An experienced elementary math teacher, Kinley has taken the lead in standardizing math education at three Des Moines Public Schools targeted by a Title III grant to increase achievement with English language learners. She is considered a master educator, modeling math teaching in classrooms and mentoring other teachers. She also organizes family math nights to involve parents in math lessons. At Lovejoy, all students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 reported gains on the district' criterion referenced tests.

One teacher from every state and the District of Columbia representing all grade levels and disciplines will be honored this fall as a No Child Left Behind 2005 American Star of Teaching. A committee of former teachers at the U.S. Department of Education selected the American Stars from among 2,000 nominations based on their success in improving academic performance for all their students.

Begun in 2004, the American Stars of Teaching recognition effort is part of the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative, which includes teacher workshops, teacher and principal roundtables, regular e-mail updates, and free online professional development. More than 4,500 teachers have participated in workshops and roundtable discussions.

President Bush and Congress have provided an unprecedented $16.1 billion in federal funding since 2001 to support the teaching profession. In addition, the House of Representatives recently approved $100 million in funding for President Bush's Teacher Incentive Fund to reward K-12 educators who make outstanding progress in raising student achievement or narrowing the achievement gap. The Teacher Incentive Fund is also a proposed provision of a Higher Education Act reauthorization bill, which would also make permanent student loan forgiveness available for such teachers.



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Last Modified: 09/12/2005