a division of Home School Legal Defense Association
January 24, 2001

President Bush Releases Blueprint For Education Reform
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Just two days into his Administration, President George W. Bush unveiled what he is calling a "blueprint" for his education reform package. The plan called "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" gives states, districts, and public schools increased flexibility while requiring higher standards of accountability. HSLDA is conducting a thorough review of the plan which as yet has not been introduced in Congress.

Most troublesome for the home school community is the reliance on annual "assessements" for students. During the transition, Bush education staff assured HSLDA that the President does not support federal testing and that under his plan states would be free to select any test of their own choosing. The plan does say that federal funds will cover the cost of developing these assessments. In addition, the use of the words "all students" in the plan is of concern to HSLDA.

Of note, however, is language on page nine which says that federal requirements do not apply to home schools or private schools, and reassures that, "Protections in current law would be maintained."

The president described his proposal as a framework for bipartisan legislation to be developed by Congress and the Administration in the near future. His hope is to have the legislation enacted by summer.