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Press Release - Dole-Kemp: Worst Failures in the Clinton Education Record

August 27, 1996

1. Washington takeover. The centerpiece of Clinton's education agenda is Goals 2000, a thinly veiled federal power grab of state education authority. One former Department of Education official called Goals 2000 "the worst-received and most-hated federal education program ever." Goals 2000 vests a national school board with approval power over state and local school reform.

2. Federal bureaucracy expands. Clinton pushed through amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that included over 1000 pages of wasteful and politically correct spending, including a "Special Assistant for Gender Equity," barriers to school choice, and federal regulation of sex education programs.

3. School violence worsens. In 1991, 14% of public high school teachers felt weapons in the schools were a major problem. By 1994, that number had jumped to 27%, Almost half of all teachers report that physical conflicts among students are a major problem in their school.

4. Student drug use skyrockets. The number of 12- to 17-year- olds who have used illegal drugs has doubled under Bill Clinton after falling for 10 years during the Reagan ad Bush administrations.

5. Teacher unions take charge. At the unions' behest Clinton killed a small pilot scholarship program that would have enabled poor families in the District of Columbia to send their Children to the school of their choice (as the Clintons and Gores do.)

6. English becomes optional. Clinton's Education Department rules that NAEP -- a nation-wide measure of academic progress - must also be administered in Spanish. The Department's widely discredited and heavy-handed federal bilingual education program expands.

7. Standardless standards. A set of federally-funded national U.S. history "standards" were so politically-correct and offensive that the U.S. Senate voted 99-1 to condemn them.

8. Reading scores decline. Reading performance fell from 1992 to 1994 in grades 4 and 12, and remained flat in grade 8. By 1994, 40% of fourth graders could scarcely read cit all.

9. Don't know much about history. In 1994, three out of five high school Senior were "below basic" in U.S. history. This means they do not know, for example, when the Civil War was fought.

10. Or about geography. Thirty percent of 12th graders were "below basic" in geography.

11. Newest stores held hostage. Clinton's Education Department has refused to release 1996 NAEP results in reading, writing, math, and science. Have things gotten worse? We'll have to wait until after November 5 to find out.

12. The world watches. An evaluation of U.S. education by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that "The performance of the education system at the primary and secondary levels has to be regarded as mediocre."

Robert Dole, Press Release - Dole-Kemp: Worst Failures in the Clinton Education Record Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315489

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