— George W. Bush
2000s, 2001, Radio Address to the Nation (January 2001)
Kontext: These are the elements of the plan I am proposing. Real reform starts by giving schools and school districts more authority and flexibility. We cannot expect schools to change unless they have the freedom to change. My plan respects the principle of local control. It does not try to run the schools from a central office in Washington. I view principals, teachers and parents as allies in reform. They are ready to raise the standards, ready to take responsibility and answer for results. Those results must be measured by testing every child every year, in tests developed and administered by states and local districts, not the federal government. Without yearly testing, we do not know who is falling behind and who needs our help. Without yearly testing, too often we don't find failure until it is too late. Testing allows us to help children early, before frustration turns into apathy. We need to aim high, but we also need to be realistic. Many schools, particularly those in poor neighborhoods, will need help to meet high standards. And they will have it, including a new $5 billion initiative over five years for reading instruction. The goal is to improve our public schools. We want them to succeed, and when they're willing to change, we'll give them the tools to do so.