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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 16, 1999
                      VICE PRESIDENT GORE OUTLINES

"Education Should No Longer be a Period in our Lives, but a Way of Life

in the 21st Century"

Lamoni, IA -- In his remarks today at Graceland Community College's commencement ceremony, Vice President Gore offered a blueprint for America's educational system in the 21st century, presenting an ambitious, fiscally responsible seven-point program of ideas for revolutionary change in American education.

Citing increased demand for higher skills in today's information-driven economy, growing challenges in schools across the country, and changes to the American family, the Vice President, speaking to students, parents, and teachers, called for making the next decade the education decade.

"There is nothing more important than providing all of our people with a high-quality education," Vice President Gore said. "We must take dramatic steps to improve our schools and ensure that education is no longer just a period in our lives, but a way of life in the 21st Century."

Specifically, the Vice President called for:

Making High-Quality Preschool Available to Every Child, In Every Community in America
The Vice President proposed enabling every state in America to develop and strengthen voluntary pre-school programs. Research shows that quality pre-school can lead to higher IQ's, higher reading and achievement levels, and even higher graduation rates and greater career success.

Improving Teacher Quality and Elevating the Teaching Profession The Vice President:

A Renewed Focus on Character, Discipline, Values, and Safety The Vice President proposed:

Reforming the American High School.
The Vice President proposed:

An Aggressive Plan to Turn Around Failing Schools The Vice President proposed:

Tapping the Power and Potential of Technology to Improve Education in America
The Vice President proposed:

Finding New Ways to Help Families Save and Pay for Their Children's College Education
The Vice President proposed:

"These are ideas that can have revolutionary consequences in schools," Vice President Gore said. "They will help our young people succeed through a strengthened commitment to quality public schools. While education must remain a state and local responsibility, our national government can and must be a catalyst for change."