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April 13, 2000: Investing More in Schools and Demanding More From Them

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Friday, April 14, 2000


"An education investment without accountability can be a real waste of money. But accountability without investment can be a real waste of effort. Neither will work without the other. If we want our students to learn more, we should do both."

President Bill Clinton
Friday, April 14, 2000

Today, in Atlanta, President Clinton highlighted his education reform agenda of investing more in our schools and demanding more from them. The President released a Department of Education report detailing the substantial progress that his Administration has made in boosting accountability and student achievement, improving teacher quality, making schools safer, expanding school choice and charter schools, and opening the doors of college to all Americans. While promoting accountability and high standards, the President emphasized that teachers and schools need support to reach those standards, and called on Congress to pass an education bill that invests in proven strategies for reform and requires states to help turn around failing schools or shut them down. Finally, the President announced that he is leading a School Reform Tour in May, during which he will travel to schools across the country that are meeting high standards and investing in reform.

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. Today's report, "Challenging the Status Quo: The Clinton-Gore Education Record," details how the Administration's agenda for education reform - investing more and demanding more - has achieved results for all Americans, especially those most in need. For example, the report finds that:

  • Reading scores of 4th graders in the highest-poverty schools rose almost an entire grade level between 1992-1996;
  • Low-income high school graduates are now attending college at all-time-high rates; and
  • 90 percent of the poorest schools now have access to the Internet, up from 19 percent in 1993.

INVESTING MORE AND DEMANDING MORE TO RAISE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. Since taking office, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made standards, accountability, and investment in proven strategies the centerpieces of their education reform agenda. While maintaining fiscal discipline, the Administration has nearly doubled the nation's investments in education and training, which have helped to:

  • raise student achievement in reading and math;
  • enroll more children in Head Start;
  • reduce class size in the early grades;
  • provide after-school and summer school opportunities to 850,000 students;
  • boost the percentage of classrooms with Internet access from 3 percent in 1993 to 65 percent today;
  • support charter schools; and
  • open the doors of college to all.

URGING CONGRESS TO INVEST IN REAL REFORM. Yesterday, the House Education Committee passed a "reform" bill that eliminates after-school programs, abandons efforts to reduce class size, and fails to modernize a single school. The Senate's Education bill rolls back school reforms even more. The President urged Republicans to invest in proven reform strategies instead of promoting vouchers and block grants, which would undermine school accountability.

CALLING ATTENTION TO PROMISING SCHOOLS. The President announced that he will embark on a School Reform Tour in May, visiting schools across the country to highlight promising reform efforts where high standards are producing results and accelerating achievement. The tour will also highlight the challenges our schools must meet to give all children a world-class education - and the investments that are needed to help them address those challenges.

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