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Fact Sheet: Ensuring the Promise of America Reaches All Americans

July 14, 2005

Nation's Report Card Shows Progress In Educating Our Children, Achievement Gap Is Narrowing

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Delivered Remarks In Indianapolis At The Indiana Black Expo Where He Discussed The Administration's Policies To Ensure The Promise Of Opportunity And Prosperity Reaches All Americans. The President believes every child should receive a quality education, every citizen should have the opportunity to participate in an ownership society, and every person should have the opportunity to strive for a better future.

Ensuring America's Promise Through Education Reform

  • New National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Results Show Students Have Made Significant Gains Since President Bush Signed The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Into Law. Known as the "Nation's Report Card," the test measures student achievement nationwide against the same standards. These results mark the first time this test has been administered since the passage of NCLB.
  • NAEP Results Show NCLB Is Contributing To Progress In Education. President Bush signed NCLB into law to ensure all students become proficient at reading and math and to close the achievement gap that exists between students of different socio-economic backgrounds. When performance is measured and schools are held accountable, every child can succeed.
    • America's nine-year-olds are posting the best scores in reading and math in the history of this report.
    • Thirteen-year-olds earned the highest math scores the test has ever recorded.
  • African-American Achievement Is On The Rise. Reading and math scores for African-American nine-year-olds reached their highest levels in the history of the test, with reading scores up 14 points and math scores up 13 points in the past five years.
  • The Achievement Gap Is Closing. The gap in reading between white and African-American nine-year-olds is the smallest it has been since testing began.
  • The President's New High School Initiative Will Increase The Quality Of Secondary Education And Ensure Students Graduate With The Skills Needed To Succeed. To build on the progress of NCLB, the President has proposed a new High School Initiative to help ensure excellence for every student. Through this initiative we will provide early intervention for students falling behind, and measure the progress of our high school students with tests in reading and math in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades.
  • Making Higher Education More Affordable And Accessible For All Americans. The President is working to reform the student aid system and increase college assistance for low-income students. To help ensure more African-American students have access to higher education, the Administration is funding historically black colleges and universities at record levels.

Ensuring America's Promise Through An Ownership Society

  • African-American Business Ownership Is At An All Time High. President Bush cut taxes on small businesses, and last year increased Small Business Administration loans to African-American businesses by more than 28 percent. The Administration is working to give minority-owned businesses better access to compete for Federal contracts, and has provided $8 billion in New Market Tax credits to boost investment and community development in low-income areas.
  • President Bush Wants To Help More African-Americans Become Small Business Owners. The Bush Administration is working with national groups to create the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership to develop economic empowerment centers in America's poorest communities to provide minority entrepreneurs with training and access to business opportunities.
  • Nearly Half Of All African-Americans Now Own Their Own Home. Three years ago, President Bush set a goal of creating 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade. More than 2.3 million have been added, and to help complete the goal, the Bush administration is providing down-payment assistance, counseling for new home buyers, and tax credits to encourage construction in low-income areas.
  • The President's Plan To Fix Social Security Will Help Put Ownership In The Hands Of Every American. The President has proposed allowing younger workers to put some of their Social Security contributions in a voluntary personal retirement account, because the investor class should not be limited to only a certain kind of person. It makes sense to trust people with their own money when it comes time for their retirement.

Ensuring America's Promise Through Community Development

  • Violent Crime Is At A 30-Year Low. It is difficult for young people to study, learn, and grow in the midst of violence, addiction, and despair. By aggressively prosecuting drug dealers and gun criminals, America is making progress towards the day when all Americans can feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods.
  • Americans Of All Races And Backgrounds Must Be Able To Trust Our Legal System. By expanding the use of DNA analysis, law enforcement can solve more crimes, lock up more criminals, and prevent wrongful convictions while fully protecting civil rights and equality before the law.
  • Faith-Based Groups Are Providing Vital Services In African-American Communities. The Bush Administration has awarded $2 billion in competitive grants to faith-based institutions that are working to transform their neighborhoods with faith and compassion.

Ensuring America's Promise By Spreading Freedom Abroad

  • By Staying On The Offensive Against Terrorism, We Are Spreading Freedom And Security. Because America acted, 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan now live in freedom - and millions across the broader Middle East are claiming their liberty as well. By spreading freedom in a troubled region, we are making America more secure - and laying the foundation of peace for people around the world.
  • America Is Delivering Historic Support To Help Fight Hunger, Malaria, And HIV/AIDS In Africa. Since President Bush took office, the United States has tripled international development aid to Africa, bringing it to the highest level of any presidency. And last year, America provided nearly 60 percent of global food aid to the continent of Africa to help prevent famine. We are supporting an aggressive $15 billion campaign to cut the mortality rate of malaria in half. And since 2003, the United States has undertaken a historic $15 billion initiative to help the nations of Africa combat HIV/AIDS. The program is already delivering life-saving treatment to more than 230,000 people.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Ensuring the Promise of America Reaches All Americans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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