Today President Bush marked the recent school shooting tragedies by calling for a safety conference and... wait for it... promoting standardized testing.
President Bush on Saturday lamented recent "shocking acts of violence" in schools, and promised his administration will do what it can to keep centers of learning safe for students....The transcript of the address is here.
"Our goal is clear: Children and teachers should never fear for their safety when they enter a classroom," the president said in his weekly radio address....
"Laura and I are praying for the victims and their families, and we extend our sympathies to them and to the communities that have been devastated by these attacks," the president said.
Bush also pushed for reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law, which he says needs some changes. Under the law, schools that get federal poverty aid and fall short of their yearly progress goals for two straight years must offer transfers to students. After three years of failure, schools must offer low-income parents a choice of tutors....
The president outlined a series of ways in which the law could be improved, such as by expanding testing in high schools, an idea he has pitched to Congress for two years. He also said he wants the federal government to pay for 28,000 low-income students across the country to transfer to private schools, and has asked for $100 million to pay for the initiative.
One statement irks me most: "The federal government is asking for demonstrated results in exchange for the money we send from Washington." As if the act is fully funded [pdf]. Money quote: "The cumulative underfunding is now $27 billion since NCLB was signed." That was back in 2004--and it hasn't gotten any better.