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Joint Statement by the President and the Governors on a Process for Measuring and Reporting on Progress Toward the National Education Goals

July 31, 1990

At the historic Education Summit, the President and the Nation's Governors, as elected chief executives, made a commitment to be held accountable for progress in achieving the national education goals. To fulfill this commitment, this Joint Statement establishes the process for identifying measures of performance and reporting on progress toward the goals, and reaffirms the decade-long partnership toward realizing the goals.

In order to provide the direction and support needed to instill public confidence and the full cooperation of Federal and state officials, the President and Governors agree to establish the National Education Goals Panel to oversee the development and implementation of a national education progress reporting system. The process for developing and establishing appropriate measures and reporting annually on progress will build on the constructive, bipartisan partnership between the President and the Governors initiated at the Charlottesville Summit.

National Education Goals Panel

The National Education Goals Panel will be composed of:

Four senior-level Federal Executive Branch officials appointed by the President;

Six Governors appointed by the Chairman of the National Governors' Association in consultation with the Vice-Chairman, with no more than three of the Governors being from the same party; and

Four Congressional Leaders (Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, the Speaker of the House or his designee and House Minority Leader) invited to serve as ex officio non-voting members.

The Chairman of the Panel will be appointed annually by the Chairman of the National Governor's Association.

The Executive Branch officials will serve at the pleasure of the President. Governors will be appointed to the Panel for a two-year term, except that two of the initial appointments, equally divided between the two parties, shall be for a three-year term.

The Panel will be responsible for determining the indicators used to measure the national education goals and reporting progress toward their achievement. Its responsibilities shall include:

Selecting interim and final measures and appropriate measurement tools to be developed as necessary in each goal area;

Determining baselines and benchmarks against which progress may be evaluated;

Determining the format for an annual report to the Nation; and

Reporting on the Federal government's action to fulfill those responsibilities set forth in the Federal-state partnership at Charlottesville, including funding the Federal financial role, providing more flexibility in spending under existing Federal programs, and controlling mandates that limit the states' ability to fund education, as defined in the Joint Statement issued at the Charlottesville Summit.

In addition, the Panel will review proposed changes in national and international measurement systems as appropriate and make recommendations to the President, the Congress, and the Governors for needed improvements.

The Panel will not be limited by availability of current data and measurements in its decisions. It will seek to identify fair, constructive measures that will boost the performance of students at all levels.

In making final decisions, the Panel will operate on the principle of consensus among the Governors, the Executive Branch, and the Congress. In the event that a vote must be taken, a decision will require 75 percent of the voting members.

Expert Advisers

The process for developing and establishing appropriate measures shall benefit from the experiences and expertise of the education research and measurement communities and other interested parties.

The Panel, in carrying out its responsibilities, will consult broadly with experts in the field of research and measurement, as well as with other interested parties, in order to:

Identify and evaluate existing indicators; and

Prepare specific options and recommendations for the Panel concerning: the selection of appropriate indicators; baselines and benchmarks against which performance may be evaluated; and the format for an annual report.

Report to the Nation

The President and the Governors agree that beginning in 1991, the Panel will issue a report card to the Nation on the anniversary of the Education Summit (September 27 - 28) on progress toward the national education goals. The Governors reaffirm their commitment made in Charlottesville to report individually on restructuring efforts in their states on the first anniversary of the Education Summit.

In developing the report card, the Panel will be guided by the following principles:

The measurements and benchmarks should be consistent with the intent of the Charlottesville Joint Statement and the comprehensive statement of national education goals adopted by the President and the Governors.

The measurement of benchmarks should not discriminate in favor of or against any state based on its current performance or the degree of improvement needed to reach the goals. The main focus of the national report card will be measuring each state's progress toward achieving the goals based on each state's baseline.

Following the release of the annual report card, each Governor shall issue a report on progress in his or her state related to the goals.

Extending the Partnership

Although the immediate task relates to national, state, and international assessments, the President and the Governors encourage the creation of similar systems of accountability in every school in America.

The President and Governors agree to begin work immediately to fulfill the commitments made in this Joint Statement.

George Bush, Joint Statement by the President and the Governors on a Process for Measuring and Reporting on Progress Toward the National Education Goals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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