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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 10, 1998


Today's release of the annual National Education Goals Report shows that America has made some progress toward achieving the National Education Goals, but still has a long way to go. If we are going to reach these goals, we must strengthen accountability and raise standards for students, teachers, and schools. I will continue to press Congress to help give our students smaller classes, well-prepared teachers, and modernized school buildings. I will continue my efforts to expand access to early childhood programs, increase public school choice, make our schools safe, disciplined, and drug free, open the doors of college education, and help Americans engage in lifelong learning.

I am pleased at the progress that the report shows in helping our young children arrive at school ready to learn, improving student achievement in math, and increasing the participation of women and minorities in math and science in higher education. Those responsible for such gains -- parents and teachers, local and state education officials, colleges and universities, the business community, and students themselves -- should be proud of what they have accomplished.

But we must do more. Education is a local function, a state responsibility and a national priority. The National Education Goals define excellence in education, and Americans at all levels must redouble our efforts to meet them.