[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 19]
[Senate]
[Pages 26348-26376]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



          NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT OF 2001--CONFERENCE REPORT

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the order previously entered, the Senate 
will now proceed to the conference report accompanying H.R. 1, for 
debate only.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the 
     two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill, H.R. 
     1, to close the achievement gap with accountability, 
     flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind, 
     having met, have agreed the House recede from its 
     disagreement to the amendment of the Senate and agree to the 
     same with an amendment, and the Senate agree to the same, 
     signed by a majority of the conferees on the part of both 
     Houses.

  (The conference report is printed in the Record of December 12 in the 
House Proceedings at page H. 9773.)
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I strongly support the conference report 
on the education reform bill. I urge the Senate to approve it. This 
landmark bipartisan legislation contains far-reaching reforms to give 
all the Nation's students much greater opportunity than ever before to 
succeed educationally, to do well economically and participate fully in 
American society, and to enable schools and communities across the 
Nation to provide a much higher quality of education for their 
students.
  The conference committee has worked well together for over 5 months 
to reach these agreements. I commend all of the conferees for their 
effective work and leadership on the many parts of this bill, and for 
their commitment to the high priority of improving education for all 
students.
  It has been a genuine bipartisan process. We have been able to reach 
effective agreement on these reforms, because the challenge is so 
important and the need is so significant.
  We need to enact these reforms and implement them as soon as 
possible. The Nation's students, schools, teachers, principals, and 
superintendents cannot wait. The parents of the 48 million students in 
the Nation's public schools cannot wait. And Congress shouldn't wait 
either.
  Throughout our history, education has opened the doors of opportunity 
for generations of Americans. It has been a long and continuing battle, 
and it still is.
  The Nation's Founders understood this, when they urge public 
education in the early days of the Republic.
  As John Adams said so well,

       The education of a nation instead of being confined to a 
     few schools and universities for the instruction of the few, 
     must become the national care and expense for the formation 
     of the many.


[[Page 26349]]


  The women's movement understood this, as they fought to open the 
doors of schools to girls as well as boys.
  Civil rights leaders understood this, as they risked their lives to 
end segregated schools that were separate and unequal.
  The bill before us today continues that great march of history, to 
fulfill the promise of a good education and greater opportunity to all 
children in America--whether they are black or white, from the cities 
or the suburbs or the rural areas, from the North to the South to the 
East to the West.
  This legislation is about the future of America. In this 21st 
century, we want an America that continues to be a beacon of freedom 
and progress for the world. And we want all Americans to have a chance 
to fulfill their greatest dreams and reach their fullest potential.
  But to do so will require more than just the words of the legislation 
we adopt today. It will require hard work and continued partnership 
between Federal, State, and local governments--and between schools, 
communities, and parents.
  It will require constant effort and constant vigilance to see that 
all students receive the help they need.
  And, it will require a commitment of more resources in the years 
ahead, so that the Federal Government lives up to its part of the 
bargain.
  I strongly support these reforms, but I am concerned that this 
conference and this Congress and this President have failed to support 
the investments necessary if we are serious about truly leaving no 
child behind.
  Moving IDEA to the mandatory side of the budget would have been a 
victory both for children with disabilities and for children without 
disabilities.
  Prior to the passage of the IDEA legislation in 1975, we had 
approximately one million disabled students who were being warehoused 
and receiving informal education, if any education at all.
  All State constitutions guarantee education for all children--not 
just children who do not have disabilities.
  In 1975 we passed IDEA, with the idea goal that the Federal 
Government would meet its responsibilities by offsetting 40 percent of 
the cost for the education of children who qualified for IDEA.
  Over the past 25 years, Congress failed to meet its responsibility of 
40 percent of funding IDEA. The Senate insisted on full funding. We 
introduced an amendment that called for mandatory spending, which would 
have required that we provide full funding of this important program.
  The reason this was such a controversy during the time of our 
conference is that: One, it involves children; two, it involves 
children who are the most vulnerable, those having special needs; 
three, it is a constitutional right; four, we committed ourselves to 
the States and local communities that we were going to provide this 
help and assistance over a long period of time.
  The principal argument against us was we should wait, that we are 
going to reform the IDEA system next year. As was pointed out in the 
numerous debates on this issue, we are committed to these children. 
They need our help now. Now is the time. We have heard enough excuses. 
We should be meeting our responsibilities. Moving IDEA to the mandatory 
side of the budget would have been a victory both for children with 
disabilities and for children without disabilities.
  It would have guaranteed students with disabilities that they and 
their parents will not have to fight as hard as they do today to get 
the education to which they are entitled. It would have freed up local 
resources to improve regular public school programs for all students.
  Our very able and gifted leader on so many of the disability issues--
Tom Harkin, joined by Senator Hagel who has been strongly committed on 
this issue for years in a bipartisan way--have reminded us that this 
fight will continue next year. I am absolutely convinced we will be 
successful. Nonetheless, as we address these issues, we ought to 
understand that two-thirds of the children who actually qualify for 
IDEA also qualify for what we call the title I funding.
  Only one third of the children are actually covered by the title I 
program today. With what has happened to our economy, there are more 
than 660,000 additional students who will be eligible for title 1 
funds. With early requests in the budget this year, there is a 3.6-
percent increase. We have been able to get that up to close to $4 
billion, which represents about a 20-percent increase, which under the 
whole ESEA budget is just about where it has been for the last 5 years. 
This is an important improvement, but it will still only reach one 
third of the students. We are strongly committed to making sure the 
benefits of this legislation are going to reach all of the children, 
and we are going to come back and make the battle and the fight for 
this particular program.
  Since I am talking about the budget, I will give just a very brief 
oversight as to how the funds are distributed based on the money that 
has been authorized and included in this legislation, and then actually 
the money in appropriations that have also tracked our legislation.
  The title I education program, is targeted towards the neediest 
children in this country. The formula has not only reached the needy, 
but it has also been spread out until there is no question that it 
needs more focus and more targeting to reach the neediest of the 
children. This has been one of President Bush's prime considerations 
and one of his prime objectives. It was his strong commitment in this 
area that allowed the opportunity to reach strong common ground. We 
give him praise and credit for his leadership in this whole reform of 
the title I program.
  One of the major achievements of this legislation is that it 
dramatically increases Federal education funds for the neediest 
students. With this bill and the pending appropriations bill, we will 
be able to tell every city in the country that they will see an 
increase of more than 30 percent in supplemental Title I education 
funding for disadvantaged children. There will be $11 million more for 
Boston, $80 million more aid for Los Angeles in the next school year, 
and $140 million more for New York City.
  High poverty rural areas will see similar percentage increases in 
Federal education aid in the next school year. In Todd County, South 
Dakota there is a 50-percent poverty rate, however we will see a 30-
percent increase in the resources to reach those neediest children. In 
Arizona, there is a 75-percent poverty rate, and we see an indication 
of increased support for the education of those children in that 
particular county.
  In the Meek Public Schools in Nebraska, where there is a 67-percent 
child poverty rate, there is likewise an increase in resources.
  So whether it has been in the urban areas with the increased poverty 
rate or it has been in the rural areas, what we have tried to do in 
this bill is to get increased focus and attention in terms of 
investment in this program.
  Money is not the answer to everything, but it is a pretty clear 
indication of the Nation's priorities. You cannot increase the quality 
of education with money alone, but you cannot do it with reform alone. 
The key is to have reform, the resources, and the investment. That is 
what we are attempting to do with this legislation.
  But Congress and the administration have to do more next year and the 
year after. This battle will go on. This battle for resources will 
continue again and again and again, until we meet our obligations to 
families, parents and students across the country.
  One of the major goals of this conference report, is to lessen, over 
the 12-year period, the educational achievement gap between the 
disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers, between minority 
and non-minority students. There are wide gaps between these students 
today in the K-12. We are strongly committed to reducing and attempting 
to eliminate that disparity.
  The bill begins to do that by ensuring that all States set 
performance standards in reading and math and that they will set high 
standards in science by the year 2005. These standards outline

[[Page 26350]]

what students should know and be able to do in these subjects.
  Each State will develop a strong curriculum that helps teachers 
translate those standards into day-to-day learning for their students. 
Each State, itself, makes the judgment and decision about what their 
children should know in what particular grade. Their educators, their 
professionals, their parents, their instructors, their principals, and 
their school boards get together and make the determination about what 
the children should know in each particular grade in each of the 
particular States. We give States the flexibility to do so.
  We have stated--and we will restate--our objective, and that is to 
make sure these tests are not punitive, they should be used to find out 
what a child knows. These accountability measures will help ensure that 
every children receives a good education. But they won't work alone. 
Accountability is only the measure of the reform--it is not reform 
itself. We must provide the necessary support and resources to see that 
schools can achieve their goals.
  We want to make sure that, across the country, the child who is doing 
reasonably well today will do even better, the child who is having 
difficulty making it will find out they are able to deal with the 
challenges they are facing in school, and the child who is not making 
it is going to get the help and the assistance they need in order to be 
able to reach proficiency. That is what we are going to do with our 
program.
  States must also set annual goals for schools to raise student 
achievement. The States will each set their own goals based on how they 
are doing now. But all States must put themselves on a glidepath to see 
that all children achieve proficiency in 12 years. We let the States 
make the judgments and decisions about how that will progress.
  Schools that do not meet the annual goals set by the State for 2 
consecutive years will be given extra resources and technical help to 
turn themselves around. Students in those schools will have the option 
to transfer to a high performing school. If the school does not meet 
its achievement goals for another year, it must offer the lowest-
achieving children after-school tutoring services. If the school 
continues to fail to meet the goals after 6 years, it will be either 
restructured as a charter school, taken over by the State or district, 
or reopened with new leadership and staff.
  But at the end of 12 years, every child in America has to be able to 
reach the proficiency level. Twelve years is a long time, but this is a 
complex issue. I am always reminded of the great words of H.L. Mencken 
when he said: For every complex question, there is a simple, easy 
answer, and it's wrong.
  This is a complex challenge. We are not offering a simple answer. We 
are offering a responsible answer that has been based on the 
experiences of recent years and our studies in the committees and the 
conference and taking the best judgment of those who have really 
thought about this over a long period of time. That is what we believe 
is represented in this legislation.
  These accountability measures will ensure that every child receives a 
good education. They will not work alone. Accountability is only the 
measure of reform, it is not reform itself. We must provide the 
necessary support and resources to see that schools can achieve their 
goals. This legislation includes the needed reforms that are the 
building blocks of change to help the Nation's schools meet their 
goals.
  The objective of this legislation, is to provide a greater 
opportunity for all students to achieve high standards.
  There is the extra help for mastering the basics. There is a very 
important dropout provision. My friend from New Mexico, Senator 
Bingaman, has been so active in that area, as well as in many other 
areas. There will be more mental health services, more counselors 
highly qualified teachers, more after-school tutoring.
  In addition to better basic students, students will have greater 
access to a variety of other courses to enhance education, including 
advanced placement, foreign languages, civics education, economics, 
American history, physical education, art education, character 
education, and programs for gifted and talented students. The pathways 
to excellence--we have the advanced placement, foreign language, 
American history, civics, economics, arts, physical education, the 
gifted and talented programs, as well as character education.
  So the tools will be out there for these children to be able to take 
advantage of this. The support systems will be out there to help and 
assist them, depending on what the particular needs are of the 
children.
  We are setting high standards for children, we are setting high 
standards for schools, and we are setting high standards for parents.
  We ought to set high standards for the Congress to make sure we give 
the resources so these programs will work, and we ought to set the 
standards for the States to make sure they are going to meet their 
responsibility. That is what we are able to do here with regard to the 
children, with regard to the schools, and with regard to the parents. 
The rest of that puzzle is here in the Senate and in the statehouses 
across the country. They are the ones that provide the principal 
resources for the children.
  Reform of the schools is high standards and high expectations. We 
know and we saw once again from the tragic circumstances of September 
11, Americans do their best when they are challenged. That was 
certainly true of those at the time and place of the disaster in New 
York and at the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania, the individuals 
who performed with such extraordinary bravery and heroism, and how our 
service men and women are performing today. Americans respond best to 
challenges. That is the essence of this legislation, high standards and 
support.
  In order to achieve high expectations, the bill includes reforms that 
will strengthen teacher training and mentoring, with the strong 
commitment that we are going to have highly qualified teachers in every 
classroom. We have the option for moving toward smaller class size 
which has demonstrated such success in a number of our States, such as 
Tennessee and Wisconsin. It expands support for early reading, so that 
all children read well by the end of the third grade.
  Violence and drug prevention programs are even stronger, there are 
more opportunities for parents to be involved in their children's 
education greater parent involvement, and the new books for school 
libraries. If we are going to develop effective reading programs, the 
new school library program will have enormous success.
  One of my real pleasures is reading with a child each week as part of 
the Everyone Wins! Program, where a number of my colleagues also 
participate. I have seen the change that have taken place in the last 5 
years in books in those libraries. If you went there and started 
reading 4 or 5 years ago, you would have to search to find an age-
appropriate book in order to be able to read to the child. Now that is 
changing. We want to make sure this is going to change for schools and 
school libraries across the country.
  It improves bilingual education for students with limited proficiency 
in English.
  It also strengthens after-school activities, to give extra 
opportunities to more students to improve their learning. Afterschool 
programs which have demonstrated such success--I don't think in any of 
the categorical programs in the last 2 years that the Federal 
Government has out that any of them have been as oversubscribed with 
quality applications as the afterschool programs. They work and are 
making a major difference. I recently visited an afterschool program in 
the Boston area, which has partnered with the business community. They 
are teaching children graphics and art design, things that they would 
never have seen in school.
  This is an awakening, an interest in these children in some areas of 
learning that they had never even thought of. It is transferring into 
enhanced grades. All of this is happening in boys clubs and girls clubs 
across the country. It needs to be supported. And more

[[Page 26351]]

classroom need to have access to technology.
  Finally, we have the State and local school report cards for 
parents--the children, the schools, and now the parents. The student 
achievement for all students, children with disabilities, children with 
limited English proficiency. We have seen the changing of the 
demographics in our public school systems, minority children, and the 
poor children; graduation rates, professional qualification of 
teachers, the high poverty/low poverty schools, and the percent of the 
highly qualified teachers, high poverty, low poverty.
  Every parent is going to be able to receive a report card, not just 
on their child, but also detailing the achievement of all children in a 
particular school district or state. They will know how many qualified 
teachers they have. They will know also what is happening in these 
other areas of learning in their schools, what the graduation rates 
are. We are giving the greatest amount of information to parents so 
that they will know what is happening in their school, what is 
happening in the next school, what is happening around their schools; 
empowering the parents in ways they need and they want and they desire 
so that they can help make a difference in terms of the education of 
their children.
  This has not been done, and it needs to be done. Thirteen States 
provide no individual school profiles at all. Of the 37 States that do 
produce school report cards, their quality and accessibility for 
parents vary widely. Here, we are setting a standard to provide uniform 
information to all parents in an understandable format.
  That is really something that we intend to do.
  I know there are others who want to speak early. I have taken about a 
half-hour of the Senate's time. I do want to say that I believe we have 
very important legislation that is going to make a very important 
difference in the lives of the children.
  Before concluding, I will express some appreciation to some very 
important and special people who helped get us to where we are, and 
then I will yield the floor. I see my friend from New Hampshire, 
Senator Gregg. I am enormously grateful to him.
  First of all, I thank President Bush for his strong commitment in 
making this his No. 1 domestic agenda item. I have been here in recent 
years where we have seen attempts to dismantle education programs and 
to cut back in terms of funding for education. I have seen attempts to 
repeal the Department of Education. Thankfully, now we are beyond that 
debate.
  I have always believed that it would be useful to have someone at the 
President's elbow when they have those cabinet meetings talking about 
children and education. This President has indicated he wants to make 
real education reform available for the neediest children. He deserves 
great credit for helping to give direction to this effort.
  I, in particular, thank my colleague, Senator Gregg. We worked 
closely together on this important legislation, particularly over the 
period of the past 5 months. We came at this issue from very different 
directions. We both shared a very important commitment to try to get 
something done that would benefit children. We were each prepared to 
put aside some of our own reservations to come up with legislation. And 
I frankly believe that our final product, with what has been achieved, 
is better, quite better than the previous legislation passed by the 
House and the Senate earlier this summer.
  I thank Senator Gregg for his strong involvement and participation.
  I thank John Boehner, who was our chairman, and who was very 
effective in keeping us moving in a positive direction. He was very 
talented and should receive very considerable credit for this 
achievement.
  Also, I thank George Miller from the House, whose knowledge and 
legislative skills and dedication helped make this conference report an 
excellent piece of legislation. George is a legend in many ways. His 
passion is education. We saw that in this conference. Anyone who 
listens to George speak on this subject knows his very strong 
commitment and the knowledge and ability he holds in this area. We 
thank him.
  I want to thank the majority leader, Senator Daschle, and Senator 
Reid for their leadership and support throughout this process. Senator 
Daschle, from the earliest days of this effort on education, was 
strongly committed to achieving results and good legislation. He was 
committed to getting something positive, something that was going to 
make a difference for children. I don't need to remind this body of the 
number of times that Senator Daschle has addressed the conferees on 
this education conference, urging us forward and working to try to make 
sure we would achieve great results. His help and assistance has been 
absolutely invaluable and essential in getting us to where we are 
today. I am enormously grateful to him personally, and I commend his 
strong commitment to education. I thank Senator Reid, as well, for his 
continued support and assistance.
  I also want to mention Secretary Paige and Sandy Kress. Secretary 
Paige came to our committee as one of the first members of President 
Bush's Cabinet. He had a strong record in Houston, under very 
challenging circumstances, and demonstrated many of the principles the 
President illustrated. Sandy Kress was able to devote much of his time 
during the early days in which this legislation was formed, and he 
carried a great commitment to the President's positions. He is a very 
effective fighter for those positions and never gave up on any of them 
as we moved through, but always tried to find some way of moving this 
process toward a positive solution. I am grateful and thankful to both 
Secretary Paige and Mr. Kress.
  I want to take a final moment to thank the staffs. It is important as 
we enter the final passage of this legislation that they be included in 
the managers' opening statements. Their role has been absolutely 
indispensable. Their satisfaction should be deep, continuing, and 
abiding. They are all skilled professionals. They will do many things 
in their lives, but I doubt they will ever do anything that will be 
more important to children in this country than what they did over the 
period of this last summer. While others were away during the August 
Recess, staff were here working tirelessly throughout the summer on 
various provisions of this legislation. They were in touch with all of 
us as discussions moved forward, and they are absolute masters of the 
details of these provisions.
  I think all of us are mindful of the words that ``the devil is in the 
details.'' This legislation is over 1,100 pages long, and our staffs 
combed through the details and ensured that our objectives were met. 
They have done it with a professional excellence, which is, I think, in 
the highest order of this institution. It is what the American people 
expect and what they deserve to have, and we have not let them down. So 
I thank all of them for their good work.
  In particular, I thank Danica Petroshius, who is here on my staff; 
Michael Dannenberg, Roberto Rodriguez, Dana Fiordaliso, Ben Cope, 
Connie Garner, David Sutphen, Melody Barnes, Jim Manley, Helen Yuen, 
Karen DiGiovanni, and Menda Fife of my staff, who all worked long and 
hard together on a wide variety of issues in this legislation.
  I also thank Sally Lovejoy and Paula Nowakowski of Congressman 
Boehner's staff; John Lawrence, Charles Barone, Alex Nock, and Denise 
Forte of Congressman Miller's staff; Denzel McGuire, Townsend McNitt, 
and Stephanie Monroe of Senator Gregg's staff; Lloyd Horwich of Senator 
Dodd's staff; Bev Schroeder of Senator Harkin's staff; Kimberly Ross of 
Senator Mikulski's staff; Sherry Kaiman, Michael Yudin, and Justin King 
of Senator Jeffords' staff; Carmel Martin of Senator Bingaman's staff; 
Jill Morningstar of Senator Wellstone's staff; Bethany Little of 
Senator Murray's staff; Elyse Wasch of Senator Reed's staff; David 
Sewell of Senator Edwards' staff; Ann O'Leary and Wendy Katz of Senator 
Clinton's staff;

[[Page 26352]]

Michele Stockwell of Senator Lieberman's staff; Elizabeth Fay of 
Senator Bayh's staff, and Joan Huffer of Senator Daschle's staff.
  I also thank Denis O'Donovan and Steve Chapman who served our 
committee so effectively and made sure that the conference ran 
smoothly. I also thank the staff of the Congressional Research Service, 
Wayne Riddle, Jim Stedman, Rick Apling, and Jeff Kuenzi. CRS provides 
invaluable help to all of us. There are also many others who work hard 
and they don't get recognition, but they were absolutely invaluable.
  I am sure there are others I should mention, and I will try to make 
sure I include them later in the day or tomorrow.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire is recognized.
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, first, I thank the Senator from 
Massachusetts for his kind comments in his opening statement, with 
which I agree in part and disagree in part, but that is what makes this 
an exercise that is so worthwhile.
  Let me pick up where Senator Kennedy has left off, which is thanking 
those people who have done an extraordinary job with this exceptional 
piece of legislation, which will have a very significant, if not 
dramatic, impact on our Nation's future in education. There were a lot 
of people who played a huge role in making this a success, but I think 
no one within the Senate obviously played a bigger or more significant 
role than Senator Kennedy. He was willing to step forward and work with 
the President in order to accomplish completion of this bill.
  When the President ran for office, he outlined a very clear and, I 
thought, compelling agenda on the issue of education. He was willing to 
step onto this rather controversial field and take very specific 
stances and try to drive a policy that would dramatically improve 
education for American children. This was his No. 1 domestic priority 
when he ran for President. He could not have been successful in 
accomplishing this if he had not had the bipartisan support he received 
in the Senate and in the House.
  Here in the Senate it was led by Senator Kennedy, and he deserves 
tremendous praise for that. The Senator has, for over 30 years, had a 
wide swathe in the Senate and has a voice that gets listened to. He 
used his strengths to move this bill aggressively and effectively. He 
was assisted by exceptional staff, and that may be the key to all of us 
here.
  I thank Danica Petroshius for her great work, and the other members 
of the Kennedy team. I hadn't realized how many he had until I listened 
to the names. Maybe that is why we felt overwhelmed at times. I also, 
obviously, want to thank Congressman Boehner, whose leadership within 
the conference was critical. He was adroit in his ability to keep all 
the parties at the table negotiating. It was a difficult task because 
of the different views brought to the table. He deserves great credit.
  I thank Sally Lovejoy, his staff director. I also consider George 
Miller to be a bit of a legend--mostly on the basketball court, but as 
a legislator also. It was a pleasure to have a chance to get 
reacquainted with Congressman Miller, whose opinions are always 
expressed with great passion and tremendous effectiveness, and to work 
with him in developing this bill. His fingerprints are significant in 
this area.
  I thank Charles Barone of his staff, who was another player of 
significant importance in this exercise.
  The support we got from the Department of Education was exceptional, 
also, as mentioned by Senator Kennedy. Secretary Paige interjected 
himself at key points in the process. He was extraordinarily 
constructive, and he has been a shepherd of this exercise. His people: 
Becky Campoverde, Christy Wolfe, Sandra Cook, Paul Riddle, Kay Rigling, 
Tom Corwin, and Jack Kristy also played significant roles in getting us 
on the right track. CRS was a tremendous help to us and the people at 
legislative counsel who drafted this bill.
  Obviously, I cannot discuss this bill without talking about some of 
the other players in the Senate who were involved. Senator Kennedy 
mentioned some of the people on his side of the aisle. On our side of 
the aisle, we had a working team within our committee that was very 
strong and committed many hours on different issues. Almost everybody 
had a role to play.
  I especially thank Senator Frist for his role with respect to 
Straight A's and flexibility, and his staff person, Andrea Becker. 
Senator Tim Hutchinson was critical in a number of areas--bilingual 
reform being one critical area--and Holly Kuzmich of his staff played a 
major role. Senator Enzi played a role everywhere. Amanda Farris of his 
staff was helpful especially on technology issues. Susan Collins of 
Maine, a real force for quality education in the Senate, and her staff 
person, Jordan Cross, was very important to the positive completion of 
this effort.
  Senator Kennedy did mention Sandy Kress and Margaret Lamontange at 
the White House. We had staff who did an exceptional job--especially 
Sandy Kress and Margaret Lamontange--back and forth bridging the 
difference. We had one staff person who went from my staff to the White 
House at a critical point, stayed at the White House for a critical 
period, then came back to my staff at a critical point, and then had a 
baby. She did all this while doing a great job helping to produce this 
bill. That was Townsend McNitt who played a very significant role in 
the success of this bill, along with my other staff: Stephanie Monroe, 
Becky Liston, Kathy McGarvey, and, of course, Denzel McGuire, who was 
the right arm in this exercise, as far as I am concerned, and did an 
exceptional job and is to be credited for much of what was done right 
in this bill.
  The bill itself, as has been mentioned, is fairly complex legislation 
with a lot of moving parts, and therefore, it did take a long time to 
complete. As we move through this debate over the next few days, I hope 
to go into more specifics.
  The themes of this bill are essential to understanding the outcome of 
this bill. The reason we were successful is we all basically had the 
same fundamental goal. All the major players who came to the table to 
try to develop this legislation understood, No. 1, that the laws which 
we placed on the books 35 years ago to help low-income kids were very 
well-intentioned, but they had not worked. We have spent $130 billion 
over that period of time, and yet we see that our low-income children 
are falling behind and have stayed behind their peers at almost every 
grade level.
  In fact, the average child who comes from a low-income family and is 
in the fourth grade reads two grade levels below his or her peers. This 
has not changed over that 35 years. There has been no significant 
improvement as we have tried to address the issue in a variety of 
reauthorization efforts.
  There was a genuine desire--and it cut across party lines, cut across 
philosophical views, cut across geographic areas--and commitment to do 
something about giving the low-income child a better shot at education 
because we all understand that the American dream and the capacity to 
pursue the American dream is dependent upon education.
  The engine of the American dream is the public school system. 
Regrettably, for the low-income child, that public school system is not 
firing on all cylinders. We know that, and we are going to try to fix 
it, or at least put in place laws which will help us fix it.
  Equally important as the fact the low-income child was being left 
behind, the failure to educate generation after generation of low-
income children, especially children from minority backgrounds, was 
dividing our country. We were balkanizing ourselves based on education 
and the failure of certain segments of our population, certain large 
cultural segments of our population, to be economically successful or 
socially successful, and who were finding themselves isolated within 
our culture.
  That is not constructive to a nation. We have seen nations balkanize. 
We cannot afford that in the United

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States. John Adams was absolutely right; the key to avoiding that is 
having an educated public. He saw it when he founded our Nation, and we 
need to see it today as we move forward as a nation.
  As we become larger and larger and more diverse, we must transcend 
our diversity in a positive way through educating people and making 
sure everyone has an equal shot at the American opportunity through 
quality education.
  The goal to obtain quality education for low-income kids cuts across 
all the different groups participating in this bill. That is why we 
were able to overcome our differences as we moved through some very 
complex and critical parts of the debate.
  There has been some discussion--and I alluded to not agreeing with my 
colleague on some of his opening statement--there has been some 
discussion on the issue of IDEA. This is another area that needs 
significant attention. But the bill we are dealing with today deals 
with the low-income child and the title I program, which is the most 
significant Federal program in the area of elementary and secondary 
school education.
  IDEA and special education is a separate issue and should be dealt 
with as a separate issue because the IDEA issues are equally complex, 
maybe narrower, maybe not as many, but certainly equally as complex and 
intensely felt as the title I issues--in fact, more intensely felt in 
many instances. To merge the two and try to solve both of those issues 
at the same time would have been a mistake.
  We have put off the IDEA funding issue and the other major questions 
dealing with IDEA such as overidentification, especially of minority 
groups, issues involving discipline, issues involving excessive 
attorneys fees, issues involving excessive bureaucracy being forced on 
the school systems, issues involving whether or not a special education 
child has a right to move out of a public school and into a private 
school and the payment for those activities. All those programmatic 
issues which are very intricate and very difficult to address should be 
brought up in the context of a full IDEA reform and reauthorization 
which will occur next year.
  As part of that, we should address the mandatory issue, which I am 
perfectly willing to do. In fact, I believe we have made huge steps 
forward in the area of funding IDEA. In fact, over the last 5 years, 
because it was made a No. 1 priority of a group of Members on this side 
of the aisle when we were controlling the Senate, we have increased 
funding for IDEA by 173 percent. That is the most significant increase 
in funding that any element of the Federal Government has gotten, 
including NIH, which we made a commitment to double over this same 
period.
  IDEA funding has gone up dramatically. We are still not at the full 
funding level, which is 40 percent of the cost of IDEA, but we went 
from the 6-percent level, which is what it was when other Senators and 
I began the initiative to get to full funding, to almost 20 percent 
funding of IDEA.
  President Bush has continued that commitment. In fact, he sent up the 
single largest increase ever proposed by a President in the IDEA 
accounts this year. Over $1 billion will be put into the IDEA accounts, 
we presume, once the Labor and HHS appropriations bill is completed as 
a result and in part of the President's commitment.
  The commitment to funding IDEA is there, it is aggressive, and it is 
a stronger commitment than any other element of the Federal Government. 
As a result, I think people who are concerned about special education 
funding cannot say they are being left behind. Not only are they not 
being left behind, they are out in front of the crowd when it comes to 
funding. The question is how much further will they be out in the front 
of the crowd and how do we handle the mandatory issue versus 
discretionary accounts, which is more of an issue of inside baseball 
with appropriators and how they deal with that issue than it is whether 
IDEA is going to be funded.
  There are a lot of attempts in this bill to significantly change the 
focus of how we proceed relative to low-income children. If we want to 
generalize about them, we can say there are four different areas. The 
first is we are going to take the programs which presently exist and 
try to make them more child--say, try to take them away from being 
bureaucracy centered and school centered to being more focused on how 
that child is doing and whether that child is succeeding and whether 
that child is keeping up with his or her peers.
  Secondly, we are going to empower parents to assist their children 
when they have a child who is in a failing school and who is being left 
behind and is from a low-income background. We have given them a whole 
panoply of new tools to do that, including much more information, as 
was pointed out by the Senator from Massachusetts, and a lot of tools 
that allow them to take action which affects their child's education, 
something parents cannot do today.
  In most instances when talking to parents of a low-income child, it 
is not parents but parent. They usually come from single-parent 
families. That is unfortunate, but that single parent is usually 
struggling to make ends meet and really does need to have some options 
available to her--usually it is a ``her''--when she is trying to 
address the education failures of the school her child attends. So that 
is the second part. First, child center; second, empowering parents.
  Third, we give more flexibility to local school districts and to 
States. I believe very strongly--and I think everybody at the table 
ended up with this approach--that the local school district should have 
the ability to move their dollars around to accomplish this goal of 
better education for low-income kids.
  In exchange for that flexibility, we are expecting the fourth item, 
which is accountability, and specifically accountability that reflects 
there has been academic achievement. Academic achievement is the end 
result we seek.
  We are going to say to the local school districts they can have these 
dollars and they can have them with very few strings attached both in 
the area of their teacher accounts and in the area--if they decide to 
be a Straight A's school district, in the area of their school 
accounts. When they get these dollars, we are going to expect results, 
results that are defined by the school district. This is very important 
to remember. We do not say there will be a national standard to which 
they teach. In fact, we say just the opposite: There shall be no 
national curriculum. We say to the local school districts they decide 
how much their children in the fourth grade should know; for example, 
how much math they should know and how proficient they should be in 
English, and when they make that decision, then it is that standard 
which they set which we expect them to meet for their children.
  We have a process of tests which basically requires them to test 
these kids to see if they are meeting that standard and then tell their 
parents if they are meeting that standard. One of the most important 
parts about this testing proposal is the scores are disaggregated. No 
more burying the child who maybe does not make it in a group of people 
who do not make it covered by a group of people who do make it. These 
are disaggregated numbers so we will know if a low income child from a 
school system is not making it. We will know if a child from a certain 
minority group is not making it. That is important. That is new 
information, a new approach.
  In addition, we adjust and change a large number of programs which 
really were not working all that well. For example, bilingual 
education, the second largest account under title I under the ESEA. Yet 
we know what happened to bilingual education. It got off track. Instead 
of kids learning English, we ended up isolating kids, took them on a 
train track that took them to their language and left them there, put 
them in schools and classrooms where they basically were being taught 
in their language and they were not being allowed to learn English 
essentially, or they were not being asked to learn English.
  That is wrong, and it is not fair. They cannot compete in the 
American

[[Page 26354]]

society, in the American culture, unless they speak English. We are an 
English-speaking culture. It is great that people come to this country 
from all around the world and they speak other languages. That is one 
of the great strengths of our great melting pot. But the consistent 
thing is, amongst our culture, we speak English as a society. So 
retaining one's language, yes, that is essential, but they come through 
as a result of their ethnic cultural background, and they need to learn 
English.
  Our school system should not isolate kids and not allow them to learn 
English. So we change the bilingual program so now the stress in 
bilingual education is going to be teaching kids to learn English so 
that they can compete in our world, compete in America, and have a shot 
at the American opportunity.
  There are a lot of other major initiatives in this bill that I want 
to go into as we move down the road, but my time is about up. I want to 
spend some time, for example, discussing--I will highlight it now--some 
of the new tools we give parents, especially what are known as 
supplemental services, because I do think this is a breakthrough 
approach.
  What we are basically going to say to a parent if their child is in a 
failing school and that school has failed 3 years--by the way, on the 
effective date of this bill there will be 3,000 schools which will, 
unfortunately, fall into that category, and therefore this program will 
be available immediately to those poor parents.
  We are going to say to that parent they can take their low-income 
child to afterschool programs, or maybe to a school structured so it is 
during school hours and they will get tutorial support. Those 
afterschool programs are not all public school driven. They can be. 
They can be private school driven. They can be at a parochial school. 
They could be at a private enterprise that does tutorial activities or 
they could be in the structure of the public school system if the 
public school system decides to set up a tutorial activity.
  We are essentially going to say to that parent, we will give them the 
money they need to cover, in most instances, all the costs of that 
tutorial activity. Depending on what town they are from, what city they 
are from, the costs will be on a sliding scale, but it will be a 
significant amount of dollars, somewhere between $500 and $1,000, which 
can buy a lot of tutorial support.
  So that is a big incentive. First, it is a big plus with a parent, 
whose child has maybe fallen behind in math or fallen behind in 
English, to take their child and get tutorial support. It is an equally 
big incentive for the school systems to get their house in order--very 
important.
  There is another program I also want to spend some time talking 
about, but I suspect the Senator who is in the chair is going to spend 
some time talking about it, and that is the charter school system which 
was authored by the Senator in the chair. We dramatically expanded it. 
That, again, is another new tool we are going to be giving parents as 
an option in order to help their kids who are in a failing school. The 
Senator from Delaware deserves great credit for having authored that 
proposal.
  In addition, I hope we have more time to talk about public school 
choice, which is another really exciting tool we are putting in place. 
Public school choice already exists but not with the emphasis we are 
putting in this bill and not with the transportation costs. In other 
words, a lot of parents in an inner city, for example, cannot send 
their kids to another public school, even if the school is failing and 
they know another public school is across town that is not because they 
simply cannot get them there. This bill allows the costs of moving that 
child from the school that has failed to the school that is not failing 
to be paid for as part of the effort.
  So, in addition, there are protections for school prayer, for the Boy 
Scouts of America, for military recruiters, protections relative to 
discipline records, a whole series of initiatives that are very 
important in maintaining the integrity of our school system. I will go 
into those hopefully in more depth as we move on through this debate, 
but at this point I understand we are going to sort of go back and 
forth. I understand the Senator from Massachusetts has speakers until 
about 2:30 and then we have speakers from 2:30 to 3.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield to the Senator from New Mexico.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Kennedy very much for 
yielding. I also thank him for his leadership on this very important 
legislation. I have admired his work in the Senate since I have been in 
the Senate. There is no legislation, that I am aware of, however, that 
has passed under his jurisdiction and with his leadership that is more 
important than this education bill--the Leave No Child Left Behind Act 
of 2001.
  I also would like to thank Senator Gregg. I think he has worked long 
and hard on this set of issues and also deserves great credit for this 
final product.
  Congressman Miller and Congressman Boehner in the House both deserve 
tremendous credit, as do many of the Members in the Senate and the 
House.
  Of course, I thank the staff of all concerned for the wonderful work 
they have done, particularly my own staff member Carmel Martin who has 
been mentioned by Senator Kennedy. She has been an integral part of all 
the negotiations related to this legislation and has done a wonderful 
job advocating for the proposals and initiatives that I believe are 
most important. I'm pleased to say that all of those proposals are in 
the final bill.
  Before I get into positive aspects of the conference report, let me 
say a few things about the disagreement we had at the end of the 
conference related to IDEA funding and specifically, the Harkin-Hagel 
amendment regarding IDEA funding. My State of New Mexico has the 
highest child poverty rate among the entire 50 States. We rank 11th in 
terms of the school age population growth during the last decade; about 
16 percent of our student population is served by special education, 
which is also one of the highest in the Nation. Providing a 
comprehensive, responsive system of education and social supports is 
extremely important in my State and for the entire Nation.
  That goal will not be possible in coming years unless we at the 
Federal level step up to the responsibility we committed to many years 
ago, and that is to provide 40 percent of the cost of IDEA services. 
That is not an unreasonable or excessive commitment by the Federal 
Government, but it is something we have never achieved. We have never 
achieved the promise we made to the citizens of this country when IDEA 
was first passed, but it is time we did that.
  I congratulate Senator Harkin for his hard work to get that done, 
along with Senator Kennedy. I believe this is an issue that will be 
revisited next year when we reauthorize IDEA. I will strongly support 
the full funding provision then, as I did this time.
  Let me say a few things about the positive aspects of the legislation 
currently before the Senate. This is a milestone, as I see it. I 
recall, and the Senator referred to, the earlier debates about 
eliminating the Department of Education. I recall those debates were 
raging in the Senate when I came in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, 
they persisted well into the 1990s.
  However, we have reached a major milestone. We have turned a corner. 
We have developed a bipartisan consensus that education needs to be a 
national priority, and not just a State priority or a local priority. 
We also have developed a bipartisan consensus that the Federal 
Government needs to accept substantial responsibility for improving the 
quality of education, and not just leave that to the States or leave 
that to local school districts.
  I see that as great progress. It is incorporated in this legislation, 
and that is why I believe this legislation is so significant. I am 
proud to support the bill. I believe it does contain provisions that 
can bring revolutionary change to

[[Page 26355]]

our education system. They do not automatically bring that 
revolutionary change to our educational system, but they put in place a 
framework which, if we follow through, can dramatically improve our 
education.
  The most important of these provisions, as I see it, are related to 
accountability for student performance. They relate to the challenge of 
ensuring that students actually make progress.
  In 1999, Congressman Miller introduced legislation in the House of 
Representatives to create an accountability system for student 
performance with the focus on closing the achievement gaps between 
disadvantaged student groups and nondisadvantaged groups of students. 
That same year, I introduced companion legislation in the Senate. In 
both of those bills, we required new accountability for the quality of 
the instruction by mandating that teachers be qualified in the subjects 
they are assigned to teach and requiring public reporting related to 
student performance and teacher qualification. Our legislation also 
required that schools demonstrate progress in improving student 
achievement and closing achievement gaps.
  At the beginning of this Congress, over nearly a year ago, we 
reintroduced our respective bills and we were grateful to receive 
bipartisan support for our proposals. Senator Lugar joined me in 
legislation we introduced in the Senate, and in the House Congressman 
Boehner became very involved in this effort. Perhaps most 
significantly, President Bush became very involved in this effort, as 
he indicated he would during his campaign. I congratulate the President 
for the success he has had and the contribution he has made to this 
important legislation. I also want to thank him and the other Members 
for their great work on this bill.
  For the first time, I believe States and local school districts and 
individual schools will be held accountable for improving academic 
achievement for all students, not just a few students. This bill 
ensures that Federal funds are tied to those gains in student 
performance. Most importantly, it ties these funds to eliminating 
achievement gaps.
  The components of the accountability system are worth mentioning. Let 
me mention some of them.
  First, raising standards for all students, providing an objective 
measure for progress.
  Second, focusing on the progress of disadvantaged students by setting 
separate goals for their achievements so that schools must show gains 
for those groups or be labeled as failing to make adequate progress.
  Third, the bill calls for identifying schools that are failing to 
meet these goals in a timely manner so they can get additional funding, 
so they can get additional support. If they still cannot show 
improvement after that funding and support is provided for a period of 
years, then it provides some strict consequences for the chronic 
failure to adequately serve those students.
  Next, the bill calls for working to ensure that every class has a 
qualified teacher and that low-income and minority students are not 
taught by unqualified teachers at a higher rate than are other students 
in our school systems.
  Finally, the bill provides an expanded role for parents.
  As described by Senator Kennedy and Senator Gregg, this empowers 
parents and gives them a report card that parents can take to 
understand precisely the quality of the education their child is 
receiving.
  Although we need to do more for IDEA funding and on the 
appropriations front--and that debate will continue next year--the 
conference report does include increased authorization levels for key 
programs. In addition to the set-aside for accountability and turning 
around struggling schools, the bill guarantees that States receive at 
least $3 million each to help develop required assessments. It 
authorizes $490 million nationally for this purpose. The bill sets out 
authorization levels for title I that lead to full funding for that 
program.
  The bill also authorizes resources to help create 21st century 
schools by authorizing the use of Federal funds for school renovation, 
providing $650 million to improve school safety, providing $1.25 
billion for afterschool programs, and $2 billion to integrate 
technology into the classroom.
  I should also note that the technology program in current law, which 
I helped to author, has been improved by making teacher training in 
technology a priority for the $1 billion provided to school districts 
nationally. The conference report also authorizes a separate teacher 
training in technology program for Schools of Education so new teachers 
will graduate with the skills they need to use technology to improve 
student performance. These measures will ensure that teachers will know 
how to effectively use technology in their classroom instruction.
  There are several provisions in here that I want to highlight that 
relate to improving high schools. Most of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act has historically focused on elementary schools, and that 
is appropriate. But we have some provisions in this final bill that 
relate to high schools and to improving the quality of teaching at the 
middle school and the high school level. One of those is the advanced 
placement program.
  This bill includes a new measure supporting advanced placement 
programs. I sponsored this measure with Senators Hutchison and Collins 
and I thank them for their support. It provides high school students 
with challenging academic content in advanced placement courses. They 
raise the bar for academic standards and allow students to earn 
valuable college credits.
  Last year there were about 1.5 million students who took advanced 
placement courses in this country. Unfortunately, that does not 
represent nearly the number of students it should. Only 54 percent of 
the Nation's high schools currently offer advanced placement courses. 
The rest do not. There is much more that can be done here.
  The purpose of the advanced placement measures included in this bill 
is to build on the existing Advanced Placement Incentive Pilot Program 
to provide grants to States and districts seeking to raise academic 
standards through advanced placement programs. This is an extremely 
important initiative.
  In my State, we have one school district--the Hobbs Municipal 
Schools--that has made tremendous progress by emphasizing the advanced 
placement instruction and the pre-advanced placement instruction in 
their middle schools and high schools. This is something that I believe 
all students throughout the country could benefit from very 
substantially.
  Another program contained in this bill that is a major benefit for 
high school students in particular and middle school students is the 
dropout prevention initiative.
  When the Governors met with former President Bush in Charlottesville 
at the National Education Summit many years ago, one of the national 
goals identified for the country was that we would have at least 90 
percent of all of our students completing high school and getting a 
graduation certificate before they left high school. That was the goal 
set. Unfortunately, we have done very little to achieve that goal in 
the 12 years since it was identified.
  This legislation, for the first time, makes dropout prevention a 
national priority. That is extremely important in my State. We have the 
unfortunate circumstance that a disproportionately greater number of 
minority and low-income students wind up leaving school before they 
graduate. There are over 3,000 students who drop out of school each day 
in this country. Hispanic youth are nearly three times more likely to 
drop out than non-Hispanic students in our classrooms. The disparity is 
equally great for Native American students. The Dropout Prevention 
Program provided here commits Federal funds and grants to local schools 
and school districts to help them deal with this very important issue.
  Senator Reid of Nevada cosponsored this legislation with me and 
deserves

[[Page 26356]]

great credit for his longstanding support of the effort we made to get 
attention to this dropout problem. I am very pleased that is included 
in the bill.
  One other provision I want to highlight that I believe is very 
important is the Smaller Learning Communities Program.
  I am persuaded--and I believe the evidence clearly demonstrates--that 
when larger school buildings are divided up into smaller learning 
communities, the student achievement levels rise, the dropout rates 
decline. There is greater security, less violence, and less 
absenteeism. This is an extremely important initiative. Again, this is 
something that I think is a very positive provision in this 
legislation.
  Let me highlight a few programs that have great significance in my 
home State of New Mexico.
  The bill authorizes the program related to tribally controlled 
schools and Indian education. One in four of all tribally controlled 
schools is in my State of New Mexico. We also have many Native American 
students in our public schools. We worked closely with our colleagues 
on the Indian Affairs Committee to improve the existing legislation 
governing these programs.
  In addition, the bill revamps and expands a program providing funds 
to districts with a large Federal presence, or impact aid districts. 
These districts have smaller, and in some cases have no local tax base 
because of the existence of Federal land or Indian land within that 
school district. Under this bill, the existing construction program for 
these districts is expanded so that more districts can qualify for 
Federal assistance for facility renovation and modernization.
  There are other very important initiatives in this bill. We 
substantially expand the program that assists students with limited-
English-proficiency. That is a very important program for my State, 
where over 20 percent of our total student population are English 
Language Learners.
  The report also includes a program for small and rural districts. In 
my state 88 percent of the districts are rural and 45 percent serve 
fewer than 1,000 students. The rural program in the conference report 
will ensure that these districts can effectively use their federal 
resources.
  I know there are others waiting to speak. Let me conclude by again 
thanking Senator Kennedy and Senator Gregg for their leadership, and 
their staff, and Danica Petroshius, in particular, for all of her work 
with us; again, my own staff member, Carmel Martin, who worked so hard 
on the legislation.
  I see this as a very major step forward. I look forward to following 
through. As I said, none of this is self-implementing. This is 
authorizing legislation. We will need to come back each year for the 
next 6 years during the time this bill is in effect and see to it that 
adequate resources are provided so that these programs can be 
adequately funded and so that States will not be able to legitimately 
say that it is wrong to hold them accountable if we do not provide them 
with assistance. I think we can and should do that. We must follow 
through so we can do something here that will make a major difference 
for future generations in this country.
  I am very pleased to support the legislation. I urge my colleagues to 
give it a positive vote.
  Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from New Mexico. He 
mentioned the whole issue of the Governors' meeting in Charlottesville. 
Senator Bingaman, I think, more than anyone else from that meeting up 
until this legislation, has followed the issue of accountability in the 
development of education and education standards. The issue on dropouts 
that he mentioned has been included in here. Advanced placement, 
smaller learning communities, education technology--this legislation 
reflects a great deal of what the Senator has been interested in and 
has spoken to. I thank him not only because of all of that, but he has 
made an indelible mark on this legislation. I am grateful to him.
  I see the Senator from Indiana who, again, on the issue of 
accountability, has been enormously schooled in this subject. When he 
arrived here in the Senate and started speaking about education, I took 
the chance to look back over Indiana and found that this was his No. 1 
one priority as Governor. He arrived here with a very keen insight into 
ways we could be more effective in trying to benefit children in 
learning. Although not a member of the committee, he has been very much 
involved with this legislation. We always benefit from his comments and 
insights. I am delighted to see him in the Chamber.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. BAYH. Mr. President, I thank my colleague, Senator Kennedy, for 
those very gracious remarks. I am pleased to have his strong support of 
the conference report on H.R. 1, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
  I would like to begin by thanking all of my colleagues who brought us 
to this moment today, starting with Senator Kennedy. From the very 
beginning, Senator Kennedy has been results-oriented in trying to 
strike the right balance between principle and practicality and has 
given clear evidence in this debate about why he is considered to be 
one of the most accomplished legislators of our time.
  Senator Kennedy understands that the art of legislating is not the 
same as being in a political science classroom. It is not the same as 
having an ideological debate. The end of the debate is what matters in 
what we can do and what we can actually accomplish to help people of 
our country--in this case, the schoolchildren of America. I thank him 
for his leadership and for his dedication and perseverance.
  Also, I thank my colleague, Senator Gregg. Senator Gregg is a former 
Governor. He has labored in these vineyards for many years. I thank him 
for his very able leadership throughout this process. We wouldn't be 
here today without him.
  I would like to express my gratitude to the President, who was good 
enough to call some of us down to White House, even before he was sworn 
in, to offer his commitment. He very clearly wanted to make this 
legislation his top priority. He wanted to work on this in a bipartisan 
fashion. He wanted to have accountability and some of the other 
landmark accomplishments that are included in this legislation. I thank 
him for his leadership.
  Also, I thank Sandy Kress, the President's chief liaison on this 
issue. I think the Presiding Officer is aware that Sandy is not only 
very schooled in the subtleties and the complexity of education policy, 
but he is also a card-carrying member, and in fact dues-paying member, 
of the Democratic Leadership Council. I believe this may be the very 
definition of bipartisanship when it comes to the education debate. I 
thank Sandy for his leadership.
  Our colleague, Joe Lieberman, will be in this Chamber before long. I 
thank Joe for his courage and persistence. We would not be here today 
without his perseverance and dedication to these issues. He is a true 
leader, a true statesman. I want to acknowledge today his indispensable 
contributions to this conference report.
  I thank the staff. I thank Elizabeth Fay of my own staff, who has 
worked tirelessly, sometimes late into the night and early in the 
morning. She has been my strong right arm. I am grateful to her.
  I thank Senator Kennedy's assistant, Danica Petroshius, Michele 
Stockwell of Senator Lieberman's staff, Denzel McGuire of Senator 
Gregg's staff, Charles Barone of Representative Miller's staff, Alex 
Nock of Representative Kildee's staff, Sally Lovejoy of Representative 
Boehner's staff, Kathleen Strottman of Senator Landrieu's staff, and 
all the rest of the staff on both sides of the aisle in the legislative 
branch and at the White House. They make it possible for us to do our 
jobs. I want to say how grateful we are to each and every one of them. 
I also want to thank Will Marshall and Andy Rotherham of the 
Progressive Policy Institute and Amy Wilkins of the Education Trust for 
their advice and support.
  Last, but by no means least, I thank the majority leader, Senator 
Daschle,

[[Page 26357]]

who has scheduled this debate and action on this bill. We are grateful 
to him for his leadership and for his statesmanship. I want to 
acknowledge the fact that, with Senator Kennedy's agreement, he placed 
Senator Lieberman and myself on the conference committee. This was a 
new development. I thank him for his confidence. I hope we have 
demonstrated his confidence in us was well placed. As a matter of fact, 
I was joking with Senator Kennedy at one point in the debate--only one 
point--it seemed as if those of us who were not regular members of the 
committee were even more supportive of the chair than regular members 
of the committee. So this is perhaps a small precedent of some kind.
  In any event, for Senator Kennedy's willingness, and Senator 
Daschle's willingness, to put confidence in me, I am very grateful. I 
hope I discharged my responsibilities well, serving on the conference 
committee.
  Mr. President, this is another step in America's long journey toward 
making education a national priority for our country. The journey began 
in the mid to late 1800s with the common school movement when Horace 
Mann, and many others, reached a determination in this country that a 
good education should not be the province of the elite, the well to do, 
the wealthy alone, that the consequences of ignorance went way beyond 
the well-being of a single individual and, instead, affected all of us 
as a community and as a country.
  Nearly 100 years later, in the 1960s, in the war on poverty, we 
realized that the dream of a good education for too many poor children 
was, instead, merely a cruel illusion and that we should reach out to 
those communities and those families without means to make sure they 
could realize the dream of a good education. Not only so they could 
realize their full potential as individuals, but equally important, so 
that our country could recognize our full potential as a great society. 
So the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was born.
  Today we gather to recognize that the status quo is no longer good 
enough. Too many children, particularly poor children, are still at 
risk of falling behind, and that the failure is not theirs but ours and 
that of the system which for too long we have been unwilling to 
fundamentally change.
  Today we gather in this Chamber to make progress toward correcting 
that cruel inequity. The progress we mark today is a victory of 
bipartisanship and good public policy. Both sides in this debate have 
been required to put aside long-entrenched ideological positions. There 
were too many on the one side who believed that the only thing wrong 
with our public education system was the need for more dollars. And 
there were too many on the other side who believed that improving the 
public education system was beyond all hope and that, instead, it 
should be abandoned in favor of private school vouchers.
  Instead, we have forged a new way, a third way, a better way, that 
will insist upon change, results, and accountability in our public 
school system.
  There are consequences if results do not occur. There is 
accountability for all of us to improve the system and give the 
children the education they so desperately deserve. The consequences of 
inaction are great today. The consequences for ignorance and a lack of 
accountability have never been greater. Our country's economic well-
being depends upon the quality of the education our children are 
receiving in classrooms across America today.
  In a global-knowledge-based economy, our economic progress, our 
standard of living, and our competitiveness will be determined by the 
quality of our children's education. High skills will demand high 
wages. The days of not knowing very much but commanding high wages and 
a good standard of living are rapidly receding. Our economic well-being 
depends upon our success in this arena.
  Likewise, there are profound social consequences to our level of 
success in this regard. The gulf today between haves and have-nots in 
America is primarily an education gap, a skills gap, a knowledge gap. 
If we want to avoid the consequences of a large and growing, persistent 
underclass in our country for the first time in America's history, it 
will be by winning the battle to improve the quality of education that 
those who are less fortunate in our society receive.
  The very vibrancy of our democracy is, in many important ways, 
dependent upon our success in this regard because an informed citizenry 
and participation by our citizens require more knowledge and learning 
than ever before.
  It was Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founders of our Republic--one of 
the founders of the Democratic Party--who once said: A society that 
expects to be both ignorant and free is expecting something that never 
has been and never will be. Jefferson and the other Founders of our 
Nation understood the clear, indisputable link between knowledge, 
citizenship, and democracy. It is that challenge that we rise today to 
meet as well.
  The bill we are advocating in this conference report embodies within 
it major changes in education policy for the schools of America, 
changes for the better. It embodies high academic standards for all 
students. No longer will we tolerate the two-track system which 
embodied within it what the President referred to as the ``soft bigotry 
of low expectations,'' trapping too many poor children in ghettos of 
ignorance and, therefore, ghettos of poverty.
  Today we will reemphasize the fact that every child can learn and 
that every child should be given that opportunity, that expectations 
matter, and that we should expect the very best from all of our 
students, not just those who have been born to greater privilege than 
some in our country.
  This legislation embodies meaningful assessments to evaluate progress 
each and every year. There are clear definitions of how much progress 
we will consider to be good enough, with the goal of 100 percent 
proficiency within 12 years. And there is a focus on subgroups so we 
ensure that no group of America's children--the economically 
disadvantaged, the disabled, those who do not speak English as a first 
language, those who come from racial or ethnic minorities--that those 
children's futures will not be left behind, and their lack of adequate 
progress will not be masked by the progress of the majority of our 
schoolchildren, because these schoolchildren from these subgroups are 
as near and dear to the heart and future of our country as any others. 
They must not, and shall not, be left behind in this legislation.
  The bottom line is that every school, every district, every State, 
and each and every one of us, will be held responsible for the progress 
by our children each and every year.
  This legislation strikes the right balance between Federal and State 
responsibilities, making this clearly a national priority, because the 
progress of education will have national consequences for years to come 
for every American, but still recognizing that State and local 
officials and governments must take the lead in devising ways to 
implement this vision because they are ultimately closest to the 
schools with accountability to citizens at the local level.
  This legislation contains a strong commitment to teacher quality with 
$3 billion to recruit and train good teachers. This is vitally 
important because, after parental involvement, the most accurate 
predictor of a good education for a child is the presence of a quality, 
motivated teacher in that classroom. Nothing is more important, besides 
parental involvement, to the future of educational progress.
  This legislation contains within it a robust commitment to parental 
choice and the inclusion of market forces within our public education 
system, while still retaining the genius of a public education, which 
is the implicit guarantee of a good education for everyone, not just 
those who would do well in a purely market-based system.
  I would like to take a moment to salute the leadership and the work 
of the Presiding Officer in this regard. These provisions would not be 
what they are and would not have been included in this legislation 
without the Senator from Delaware. I want to acknowledge

[[Page 26358]]

and thank him for his steadfast leadership and support on this bill.
  We have public school choice for every parent where a school has not 
done well enough in making progress within 2 years. There are 
supplemental services after 3 years, giving parents a choice for 
afterschool, summer school, and weekend tutorials to make sure the kids 
get the education they need. And finally, there is a meaningful, 
determined commitment to charter schools, making them an integral part 
of the public education system, to give more vitality, more innovation, 
and more accountability to public schools through charter schools. I 
thank the Chair for his leadership in this regard. My own capital city 
of Indianapolis just designated the first of four charter schools in 
Indianapolis. We look forward to benefiting from the provisions the 
Chair has championed in this bill.
  There are major provisions in this bill to help those who are limited 
English proficient. We also do a better job of targeting resources to 
kids who are most in need. Senator Landrieu from Louisiana championed 
the targeting provisions in this bill. I always thought it was one of 
the ironies of ESEA that so many schools with a high concentration of 
poverty children, in fact, receive next to nothing in terms of support 
from the very vehicle that was designed to rectify this inequity.
  In conclusion, let me say two things: First, nothing is perfect. Even 
with all of this historic progress that I and others have outlined, 
this is a major step forward. But, of course, many of us would like to 
have seen us accomplish even more, particularly in the area of funding. 
We have made a major step forward in regard to ESEA funding and with 
that, an implicit commitment to make even more historic increases in 
the years to come toward full funding of this vital program. I voted 
consistently--I know the Chair and others did--for more funding for 
IDEA. This includes a $1 billion downpayment as commitment toward full 
funding of this initiative which is not only long overdue but vitally 
important to the educational progress of children with disabilities 
across America. We must do better in this regard. We will do better.
  The choice was the progress we have outlined in this bill or 
nothing--nothing for another year, nothing year after year for 
America's schoolchildren. While there is work yet to be done, I don't 
think the appropriate course was to set aside the progress that is here 
to be made because, frankly, we cannot afford to wait any longer in 
making all the progress that we practically can for America's 
schoolchildren. That is why I support this bill and why I am also 
dedicated to coming back and finishing the business with regard to IDEA 
and ESEA funding.
  Let me conclude by saying, 2 years ago, on the floor--Senator Kennedy 
may remember that I quoted Winston Churchill when he spoke at a time of 
great trial for his country, a time of military trial for his country. 
I will paraphrase him once again today as we gather to make progress 
with the successful conclusion of this debate on reforming education. 
At that time, Churchill said that they had not reached the end and 
perhaps they had not reached the beginning of the end, but at least 
certainly they had reached the end of the beginning. So have we.
  Let us begin to provide the kind of historic advancements that 
America's schoolchildren have needed for so long. Let us begin to make 
meaningful progress in closing the inequities in income in our country 
by making knowledge and education affordable and available to all of 
our children, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, or income. 
When we do that, we will look back on this day's work with gratitude 
and satisfaction that we have made a difference in this body.
  I thank Senator Kennedy for adding another illustrious chapter to his 
long career of public service to our country. I thank him and my 
colleagues, including Senator Dodd.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I mentioned earlier how much we value our 
colleague's participation in the fashioning and shaping of this 
legislation. He remembers that we had a 2-week debate without 
conclusion in the year 2000 on this legislation. We had 8 days of 
markup even this time. The legislative effort has been ongoing. It is a 
better product as a result of it. Frequently legislation gets derailed.
  I again thank the Senator for all of his good work and his counsel. I 
know he will be very much involved as we follow on with this 
legislation with a reauthorization of higher education.
  I see my friend and colleague from Connecticut. Senator Dodd has, as 
all of us know, been the chairman of the children's caucus and has 
always taken a great interest in education, as well as children's 
interests. He has been very much involved in this legislation, he and 
Senator DeWine, with our safe and drug-free school features that are so 
important now in terms of violence in schools, the afterschool 
programs, which are so essential. He has been the principal advocate 
for those programs, the private character education, early childhood 
educators, a whole series of measures that have been included in this 
legislation as a result of his strong work. We are delighted to see 
him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, let me add my voice to those who have 
already spoken in commending the chairman of the committee, Senator 
Kennedy, and the ranking Republican on the committee, Judd Gregg of New 
Hampshire, for their leadership, and John Boehner, the chairman of the 
House committee, along with George Miller of California, the ranking 
Democrat. They have been the four principals responsible in the last 
few months for putting this proposal together. The adjectives 
describing the contributions of my friend and colleague from 
Massachusetts are merited, considering the amount of time and effort he 
has put into this product. Later in my remarks, I will acknowledge the 
key staff people who have put in tireless hours--forgoing weekends, 
evenings, and vacations--to try to reach compromises on some of the 
thorniest issues of this legislation.
  I thank Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont. Senator Jeffords began the 
process as our Senate Education Committee chairperson. He has fought 
hard for his entire career in public life on behalf of education and 
certainly made a significant contribution to this bill, particularly in 
one area he cares about especially deeply, special education. I gather 
Senator Jeffords may not vote for the conference report at the end of 
the day because of his deep disappointment over the fact that we did 
not include mandatory spending for special education. I share his 
concern.
  Full-funding for special education gained broad support in this body. 
Unfortunately, neither the other body in conference nor the 
administration was supportive, despite the rhetoric of many years for 
meeting the goal of full-funding; that is, the Federal government 
providing 40-percent of state's special education costs.
  In fact, I see my good friend from New Mexico, Pete Domenici, in the 
Chamber, former chairman of the Budget Committee. I recall sitting on 
that committee with him some 12 years ago when we actually had a tie 
vote in the committee on fully funding special education. We will come 
back to this issue, even though we didn't include it in this bill.
  The interest and concern of communities all across the country is 
well founded on this particular issue. I will get into it in a little 
more detail later. But, in any event, Senator Jeffords deserves a great 
deal of credit for his tireless efforts on behalf of children, 
particularly those with disabilities.
  I also thank President Bush. He is getting a lot of credit these days 
for the conduct of the war in Afghanistan, and rightfully so. All of 
the news has been focused on that. But he deserves a great deal of 
credit, in my view, for making education his top domestic priority. We 
may have our disagreements, including on significant parts of this 
bill, even though I intend to support it. But, this administration is 
quite different from administrations past that we talked about 
eliminating the Department of Education. We now have a President who is 
has made education his top domestic priority. Without his leadership on 
this, without his insistence that this issue be pursued by this

[[Page 26359]]

Congress, I don't think we would have arrived at the position we have 
today. I commend the President for his commitment to this cause.
  I hope it remains throughout his term in office. I hope that during 
these next 3 years when he submits his budget to the Congress that 
education will be among his top domestic priorities there, as well. I 
am confident it will, based on his dedication over the previous year to 
this issue.
  I have said I had some concerns about the bill. Obviously, all of us 
do. That is the nature of compromise.
  The bill, as we know, requires testing of every child, all 50 
million, who go to public schools. Of the 55 million children who go 
off to school every morning, 50 million go to public elementary or 
secondary schools, and 5 million to private or parochial schools. We 
are going to test every child in the third to the eighth grade every 
year in math and in reading. I think that has some value.
  My concern is that we may be tilting more toward diagnosis than 
treatment. Then again, you can't treat unless you diagnose, so I accept 
the notion that you have to take children's temperatures, if you will. 
My concern is the obvious one--that once we take their temperatures, 
are we then going to put the resources into the most troubled 
communities in America so that these kids get the treatment they need 
to pass not only the tests they will be required to take in third 
through eighth grade, but passing more difficult tests in life as to 
whether or not they can become good citizens, whether or not their 
education is full and rounded, whether or not they are going to be good 
parents, whether or not they are going to make a contribution to the 
economic well-being of our Nation.
  This bill makes it clear that we must have high expectations for 
every child, regardless of race, disability, limited English 
proficiency, or income. Because quality teachers are so critical to 
children's success, this legislation will insist that all teachers be 
highly qualified within 4 years. That is a tremendous goal, Mr. 
President, one which I strongly support.
  The underlying question I have in all of this is whether or not we 
will provide the resources, budgetary and otherwise, to achieve those 
goals.
  We have added measures to ensure that schools will be accountable for 
students' progress in reading and math, and in limited English 
proficiency for students learning English. That is something I strongly 
support, also.
  This bill ensures that Federal education reforms and resources are 
targeted to our neediest children. There are also many parts of the 
bill that are of particular interest and importance to me. Let me 
enumerate them quickly.
  One is that we protected and expanded 21st Century Community Learning 
Center Programs after school. I know I am preaching to the choir when I 
talk to my colleagues about this. We understand that this is a 
dangerous period of time for kids after school. You need only talk to 
any parent in the country about what happens after school--this is when 
children are most likely to become victims of a crime, or become 
involved in bad behavior that could undermine their education and their 
well-being.
  We provide something I have felt strongly about for years--
professional development for early childhood educators through 
competitive grants to local partnerships that focus on helping teachers 
in child care and other early childhood education programs that support 
children's learning and development. Again, I am preaching to the 
choir.
  I welcome the administration's support for early literacy through the 
Early Reading First program. The Early Childhood Educator Professional 
Development grants will complement, rather than duplicate, those 
efforts, by providing educators with training in all the domains of 
child development--social, emotional, physical, and cognitive. We must 
remember that a child's school readiness must include a knowledge of 
letters, but also how to follow directions, how to work independently 
or with others, and how to resolve conflicts without aggression, to 
name a few.
  These programs work, and there are not enough of them. Children with 
better qualified early childhood educators have better behavior skills, 
better vocabularies and pre-reading skills, lower juvenile arrest 
rates, and do better in school. Yet, most early childhood educators 
have only a high school diploma. Professional development therefore is 
critical.
  I thank Senator DeWine. He and I have worked for many years on Safe 
and Drug Free Schools. This bill reauthorizes that act and makes 
significant improvements to it. It ensures that programs under the act 
will be in response to identified State and local needs, will be based 
on proven or promising theories, will have clear and measurable goals, 
and will be undertaken with parent and community input. That is as it 
should be. These are the people who know best at the local level where 
the resources should go. The Safe and Drug Free Schools Act has been 
most successful over the years.
  I see my colleague from New Mexico here. He and I have championed and 
worked together on character education for some time. There has been no 
stronger advocate than Senator Domenici for that. We started out with a 
tiny pilot program a few years ago because none of us knew for certain 
whether this noble idea would actually work in practice. As a result of 
those pilot programs, over the years, we have seen marvelous 
achievements made by kids in some of the toughest communities and 
poorest communities in America. As a result of those pilot programs, 
character education is now part of the seamless garment of learning. 
Students who receive character education carry with them throughout 
their lives not only the ability to contribute to society, but also the 
understanding that it is their responsibility to contribute. We now 
have some $25 million in character education grants to go to local 
communities. That is a 300-percent increase over where it was. So I 
thank my colleague from New Mexico for joining with me over the years 
in that particular program. I know he will address that in a few 
minutes.
  I am also pleased to tell you that this bill includes strong privacy 
provisions to ensure that schools are centers of learning, not centers 
of market research. Senator Shelby of Alabama and I, along with 
Congressman Miller, have worked hard to see to it that parents have a 
right to know whether their children are being used as marketing tools 
and the right to say that they don't want their children to be a part 
of that. It is hard enough to get kids to learn. I am nervous about 
businesses reaching into captive audiences of kids and probing them 
about themselves and their families without parental involvement. This 
bill now adds very strong provisions in that regard. Parents wouldn't 
allow somebody to come into their home and question their 7- or 8-year-
old child without permission. Now, parents will have the right to keep 
that from happening in the schoolroom--children being subjected to 
marketing techniques that may violate families's privacy and also used 
to develop product lines.
  Today also marks the end of the injustice of treating Puerto Rican 
children as second-class citizens under title I. I thank my colleague 
from Massachusetts for his leadership on this. I thank Commissioner 
Annibal Acevedo Vila, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Sila Calderon, and 
others who have fought very hard to see that we treat Puerto Rican 
title I children just as we treat every other child in the United 
States. We do that in this bill. They deserve the same educational 
opportunities as all American children. They are going to be subjected 
to the same testing requirements. The expectation that these children 
perform is just as high in Puerto Rico now as in any other State. Now, 
they will receive not three-quarters of their allocation of title I 
funds, but 100 percent.
  We have set high goals for title 1 authorizations. Senator Collins of 
Maine and I drafted an amendment that passed with 79 votes for full 
funding for title I. This bill doesn't have full funding for title I, 
but this Chamber went

[[Page 26360]]

on record supporting full funding. I thank Senator Collins for her work 
in that. We didn't achieve it here, but our goal is that this will 
ultimately be what is supported by the administration and our 
colleagues here. The concern I have is one I have expressed all along, 
and that is whether or not the resources are going to be here to 
support the reforms. We are taking a leap of faith. Many advocated that 
we wait before adopting this conference report until the President 
submitted his budget in January.
  We could have waited a few weeks to see what President Bush puts on 
the table before we passed this 6-year bill. We are not going to do 
that because we are going to rely on the commitments made by the 
administration that the resources will be there.
  I would point out that in the midst of this recession, State 
education budgets have declined in excess of $11 billion since last 
year. So the demands are going to be even greater than before. The 
number of low-income students is going to go up. The number of title I 
students will increase. State budgets are going down. Whether or not we 
have applied adequate resources, only time will tell.
  On this issue, the President's rhetoric far exceeds his action so 
far. I do commend him immensely for making the education issue his top 
domestic priority. I can only hope that when the budget is submitted 
come January, the numbers on title I--the numbers needed to support 
these reforms will be there. We will also continue to fight for full 
funding of IDEA. The pressures are going to be significant there. By 
providing only 15 percent, rather than 40 percent, we consign every 
community in America to making up the difference in their special 
education budget. That means added pressure on local communities, most 
of whom pay for education with local property taxes.
  As I said recently, if we were debating the Defense budget, we would 
not tolerate anyone saying: This is the best we could do. If it was the 
Defense budget, we would say: Don't tell us it is the best you can do; 
tell us what you need and we will provide it. I happen to think 
education is as important an issue as there is, if not the most 
important issue.
  In our democracy and free-market economy, education is critical to 
success. I would like to think we would do all that needs to be done. 
So, I am disappointed in the budget numbers, but I am confident that 
over time, we will gain the support we need to provide the resources 
necessary to implement the reforms included in this legislation.
  To give my colleagues an idea, the title I increases in my State of 
Connecticut are not insignificant, a 20-percent increase in title I 
funding which will be very helpful. In Hartford, CT, that means going 
from a little more than $16 million to in excess of $22 million, a 37-
percent increase in title I. New Haven will go from almost $12 million 
to in excess of $16 million, a 33-percent increase in title I funding. 
These are Congressional Research Service estimates. That is 
significant, and those additional dollars are going to go a long way in 
serving the neediest children in two of the largest cities in the State 
of Connecticut.
  The issue is whether the appropriations will be sufficient this year 
and in the future to implement the reforms in this authorizing 
language. Again, I hope that will be the case in the coming years, that 
we will continue this bipartisan effort that marked this legislation 
and that the appropriations process will be not just bipartisan within 
Congress, but also between Congress and the executive.
  In closing, I also thank Shawn Maher, Lloyd Horwich, Grace Reef, and 
Patrick Rooney of my office who have done terrific jobs. From Senator 
Kennedy's office: Danica Petroshius, Jane Oates, Roberto Rodriguez, 
Michael Dannenberg, Dana Fiordaliso, and Ben Cope were tremendously 
helpful and supportive in listening to all of us and our staffs as we 
worked through the legislation. I thank Denzel McGuire and Townsend 
McNitt of Senator Gregg's staff, and I thank all the staff of other 
Senators from the conference as well as members of the House staff, all 
of whom should be commended.
  As I said earlier, their names are not well known, they are not 
elected to office, but we all know that without their Herculean efforts 
late at night, on weekends, and in lieu of vacations, we would not be 
here talking about this fine legislation that we will ask our 
colleagues to support.
  Sandy Kress of the White House and his staff, as well, deserve 
tremendous credit for staying at the table and seeing us through this 
process.
  I immensely commend my friend from Massachusetts for the tremendous 
effort he has made on this legislation and his significant 
accomplishment. He deserves a great deal of credit for it. I yield the 
floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Leahy). The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I mentioned before a number of the 
provisions in which the Senator from Connecticut had been particularly 
interested. The one I had not mentioned and the one I welcomed the 
opportunity to work with him on was full funding of the title I for 
Puerto Rico. If we look over the percentage of men and women who serve 
in the military, they come from Puerto Rico. They are at the highest, 
if not the highest, of the top two or three equivalent States.
  If we look at Congressional Medals of Honor and other awards--these 
are individuals who have always been there. They are American citizens 
and their children should receive the full benefits of the legislation.
  I welcomed the chance to work with Senator Dodd and our conferees to 
make sure that was going to happen over time.
  I thank the Senator from New Mexico. He is not a member of our 
committee--and he will express his views--but if my colleagues will 
take a moment and look on page 434 for the provisions to improve the 
mental health of children, as well as character education, which 
Senator Dodd mentioned--character counts also includes community of 
caring programs as well--Senator Domenici has been the leader in this 
institution of making sure we have parity and equality in mental 
health. This has been one of his great causes. He has educated this 
body and educated the country. He and Senator Wellstone are two real 
champions in understanding there are mental health challenges for 
children and for students.
  Senator Domenici has been enormously helpful to our committee. He has 
made a very important contribution to the development of this 
legislation. We are enormously grateful for his interest and 
involvement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I say to the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts, the chairman of the committee, I greatly appreciate the 
comments he made with reference to both character education and the 
issue of our schools integrating mental health systems that are 
operating outside the schools but should be in the schools. That is on 
page 434. I am very pleased it was added.
  I offered this issue as an amendment and turned it into a grant 
program that is modeled after the language of an amendment. It is going 
to go a long way toward using the community's mental health resources 
to help public school children who have mental health problems.
  Second, I thank Senator Dodd who spoke a moment ago about his and my 
involvement in a program that involves character education. My 
colleagues will remember when I first talked about it in this Chamber, 
Senator Sam Nunn joined me and then Senator Dodd. Senator Dodd fell 
immediately into succession when Senator Nunn left, and it became known 
as the Domenici-Dodd approach in the Senate.
  The Senator from Connecticut found some exciting ways to do this in 
his State. So have I. One of the most exciting things I have done in 
education is visit schools with character education as part of their 
program, with the voluntarism it brings to bear and the wonderful 
feeling it gives to children and teachers to know in their regular 
education they are also learning what the

[[Page 26361]]

word ``responsibility'' means, what the word ``trustworthiness'' means, 
which essentially is: You should not lie; you should live up to 
contracts and agreements.
  And there are other programs that are part of the character counts 
approach. These are used to get children excited about character and 
the principle attributes that make somebody a person of character. We 
all know that is very important, and I am very thrilled to have been 
part of that over the years. It is working in so many States.
  I thank Senator Dodd for his leadership. I will work now on the 
appropriations to see if we can get the full $25 million. This is 
authorized, but we have to get it appropriated. That is a small amount. 
Everybody should know the reason it is small is we do not tell anybody 
how to do this part of education. We merely offer money to them for 
centers or resource-based facilities so they can pass on the word and 
the tools to various teachers and organizations. We want character 
counts taught by teachers at the local level, using local people to 
implement it.
  Nonetheless, walk into a classroom of sixth graders and see that this 
month is the month of responsibility. See the walls loaded with posters 
about responsibility, and then sit down with them while they talk about 
responsibility. Then go to the class reunion which they do once a 
month. They make the awards themselves for those who have been most 
responsive, for those who have been most trustworthy, for those who 
have been best in their citizenship. It is exciting, it is moving, it 
is very positive, and rather fantastic, because one might say we have 
been spending a lot of money and trying a lot of things. We have 
remained rather constant in one way of doing it for almost 40 years. 
Essentially, we changed it only in that we pushed for more resources in 
that 40-year approach.
  I might say the time was ripe for change, and this President made it 
part of his effort. As a matter of fact, it probably can be said that 
only because he has pursued it as he has have we finally produced an 
education bill that is significantly different and has significantly 
different qualities and characteristics about it than we have ever had 
before.
  I want to, in my own way, tick off a few of them. First of all, I am 
pleased that in addition to character education expansion, better 
mental health coordination, and teacher recruitment centers are in this 
bill. I introduced an amendment in that regard, too, and that is going 
to be very helpful because, if anything, we know we are not paying our 
teachers enough and that movement of paying more is catching up State 
by State.
  We need to help our teachers be better teachers because the fact is, 
we know in many instances they need help and they need to be better 
educated, especially in the specialities that will make these students 
better and more well rounded, better at math and science and 
technology.
  In addition, in educational funding this bill authorizes 
significantly more money. We are very hopeful the appropriators will 
come close. The amount this bill authorizes is $26.3 billion, and that 
is dramatically up from last year.
  The other thing that is new and different is enhancing accountability 
and demanding results. There were many who questioned that, but in a 
sense what has come out in the conference is good. It is good in that 
it requires report cards on school performance. States using Federal 
dollars must show success on an annual reading and math assessment for 
students of third grade through the eighth. Four hundred million 
dollars is authorized to help the States administer this new approach.
  There were some who were saying they will not have enough money to 
put this into effect. That was cut through and some extra resources 
were given so they can do what is necessary to enhance the 
accountability and prove there are results.
  We have unprecedented State and local flexibility. That is 
contentious nonetheless because there are some who do not want to do 
that. They want the Federal Government to remain in charge. Compromises 
were forthcoming, but we might say we are going to be trying 
unprecedented State and local flexibility, not as much as some want but 
more than some wanted in this area. I think the compromise is going to 
prove in 2 or 3 years that we probably ought to give even more 
flexibility to the State and local people.
  We have streamlined bureaucracy and reduced red tape in the process 
of putting programs together. We have made 45 programs out of 55, and 
then we have given a certain number of districts an option to opt out 
of the Federal program and opt into one with pure flexibility. We do 
not do that for everyone because some are very frightened about what 
might happen. But I think we allow approximately 150 schools to 
voluntarily pull out from the details, spend the money on the ideas, 
and see which comes out better 3 or 4 or 5 years from now in terms of 
student and teacher education.
  We have expanded parent choices. Children in failing schools are 
going to be allowed to transfer to better performing schools or to 
charter schools immediately after a school is identified as failing. I 
do not know whether that is going to work. We all know that is a 
difficult concept. We do not know in some parts whether there are going 
to be enough schools for them to transfer to. Nonetheless, this 
certainly sets the stage and sets a standard that the United States 
ought to give parents more choice if parents are willing to be part of 
it, help with transportation and other things. Then we go into reading 
where for the first time we have a very major change in that almost a 
billion dollars is authorized for reading. That is very exciting. I 
hope they fund the appropriations.
  In Early Reading First Program, there is some money, asking that it 
be part of the Federal program, and then it lays the groundwork for 
important reforms in special education. It has already been said we did 
not move totally to mandatory funding of that program that we are so 
concerned about, a program called IDEA, but we are moving toward more 
funding rather than less.
  The distinguished Senator from New Hampshire, Mr. Judd Gregg, is in 
the Chamber. He is the one who pushed the Congress more adequately fund 
IDEA. We started about 5 years with him pursuing this, and for the 
first time in the history of IDEA, special education, we started to 
fund it at higher levels. In this bill, we move even more in the 
direction of seeing to it that schools are not overburdened because the 
Federal Government puts more money into this program.
  We have something in this bill to make schools safer, something for 
English fluency, and we have some special safeguards regarding rural 
schools. That is exciting, and that means we have concern that the 
regular programs that exist in a city such as Albuquerque might not 
work in a school district in Deming, NM, which is considerably smaller 
and very rural.
  So I hope when we are finished, the President will sign this bill, 
and I hope he takes some credit for it because, indeed, he deserves 
substantial credit for it, as do a number of Senators, including 
Senator Kennedy, clearly, as the chairman of the committee, Senator 
Gregg, and many others. I am not on the committee, but I do a little 
bit because I am genuinely interested and concerned, and I think we 
have added some special ideas to this bill.
  I want to thank those Members who allowed those ideas to find their 
way into this bill, and clearly our next step is to see how much the 
appropriators are going to appropriate. This is an authorizing bill. It 
must be funded. I hope in the next week we will know, and we will be 
telling the appropriators that we have praise for their work because 
the most important aspects of this bill would have been funded by them 
in the health and human services appropriations bill.
  I thank the Senator for yielding me time, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I see our friend and colleague from 
Delaware in the Chamber. I wanted to again point out to our colleagues 
that again

[[Page 26362]]

he is one of our newer members, but he spent a great deal of time 
making education a top priority in Delaware.
  I have listened to him speak about education on many different 
occasions. He has been enormously active during our debate on this 
legislation on the charter school programs and also on the voluntary 
school choice programs. We are very grateful for all of his 
interventions and for his strong support.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I begin by thanking Senator Kennedy for 
his kind words. A year ago this month, I was privileged to be in 
Austin, TX, at the Governor's house for a fellow who had that day 
stepped down as Governor of Texas and was about to become President of 
the United States.
  There were any number of Senators present that day, a number of 
Representatives from the U.S. House of Representatives, and one sitting 
Governor--that was me. Absent from those in attendance that day was 
Senator Kennedy.
  We spent the better part of an afternoon discussing with the new 
President-elect what kind of changes we should make to the educational 
system in our country. I remember returning from that meeting, that 
extended discussion, and calling Senator Kennedy on the phone to share 
with him a little bit of what took place in his absence.
  I recall reading almost a year ago there were some in this city who 
were saying education reform would be at the forefront of the 
President's agenda, and that a good deal of it would take place with or 
without the involvement of the ranking member and now chairman of the 
committee, Senator Kennedy.
  As it turns out, Senator Kennedy ended up being in the center of the 
action. He and his staff helped to shape, in no small part, the agenda. 
I want to express my thanks to him for his support and his acceptance 
of provisions offered by Senator Gregg and myself with respect to 
public school choice and charter schools.
  I say to Senator Gregg, who is present today, how much I appreciate 
the opportunity to be his ally, to make sure that as we assess the 
schools in this country and provide leadership in Washington, we not 
only support the States in establishing strong standards and assessing 
student performance, but also empower parents by giving them greater 
choices as to where their children will go to school.
  I want to mention a few others who played an important role in 
shaping this bill and in supporting the measures that Senator Gregg and 
I advanced with respect to public school choice and charter schools. We 
have already heard from Senator Bayh. Later, I suspect we will hear 
from Senator Lieberman, Senator Landrieu, and Senator Frist, all of 
whom played an incredibly important part in the conference and in the 
debate on this legislation. I want to also recognize a few of my old 
colleagues in the House of Representatives, including Chairman Boehner 
and Congressman Miller, who have been mentioned, as well as some 
Members who have not been mentioned. To Mike Castle from Delaware, Tim 
Roemer of Indiana, Rob Andrews from New Jersey, and Heather Wilson of 
New Mexico, I want to say a special thanks for the great work they have 
done to give us a solid compromise. And I take my hat off to the 
President. He has made this his primary initiative coming out of the 
starting block and has done wonderful work, along with Sandy Kress, 
Margaret Spelling, and others from the White House staff.
  If I could draw a rough analogy to a war going on on the other side 
of the world, the military campaign in Afghanistan, we are providing 
more money for our military operations. We are saying to those leading 
that operation: We will give you significant flexibility in how you use 
the resources. We will not try to micromanage the war from Washington. 
But we are going to hold you accountable for results.
  If you think about this legislation, in an effort to ensure better 
results from our schools in America, we have agreed with the President 
to provide more money for our schools. We have agreed to provide that 
money with greater flexibility to be used in our schools as our school 
leaders at the local level believe is best suited to raise student 
achievement. And we have agreed that, while we will provide that money, 
more money with greater flexibility, we will demand results. We will 
not throw good money after bad. We want results. There will be 
consequences for those schools that do well and consequences for those 
that do not.
  That is the basic compact at the heart of this legislation--greater 
funding and greater flexibility in exchange for greater accountability 
for results. Beyond this, we have added measures to target federal 
dollars where the need is the greatest. We have also included report 
cards for parents, report cards that will give them the information 
they need to assess the performance of the schools their children 
attend. We do this because we want to empower parents to make choices 
for their children and we want to bring market forces to bear, 
competition to bear, within our public schools.
  If we had debated this legislation 6, 7, 8, or 9 years ago, we might 
have come at it in a different way. A decade or so ago, I know of no 
State which had adopted rigorous academic standards--no State that had 
spelled out what they expected their children to know and be able to do 
in reading, writing, math, and social studies. Today, all but one State 
in America has adopted rigorous academic standards, spelling out what 
they expect their students to know. A decade or so ago, we didn't have 
States that had developed tests to measure student progress. Today, 
over half the States have developed those tests. In my State and other 
States, we measure student progress each and every year. A decade or so 
ago, we did not have accountability systems in place. We did not have 
systems in place that said we will hold schools accountable and 
responsible: for those that meet the grade, there are certain rewards; 
for those that do not, there are certain consequences. Today, almost 
half the States in America have adopted accountability systems.
  A decade or so ago, if we had taken this legislation up, we would 
probably have said: The Federal Government should write the standards; 
we are smart enough in Washington to write the standards and impose 
those on the States. We have not done that in this legislation. This 
legislation acknowledges that the States have spent a lot of time, 
effort, and energy with the input of some of the best and brightest 
teachers, business leaders, and scientists--working to develop their 
own academic standards to measure student progress. In this legislation 
we say to the States: You develop the standards, you determine how 
quickly you will move over the next 12 years to get up to those 
standards, but once you have done that, we will hold you responsible 
for moving all kids up to the standards--kids from the best 
communities, with the highest per capita income, as well as those from 
the toughest communities.
  A decade or so ago, we might have provided the money and said to our 
schools and school districts: By the way, here is the money, and this 
is exactly how you have to spend it. We don't do that in the context of 
this legislation. We say: Here is extra money. Roughly half the money 
we will provide will be provided in ways that give you more 
flexibility. If it makes more sense to use the for before- or 
afterschool programs, do that. If it makes more sense to use the money 
to provide full day kindergarten, do that. Or for prekindergarten 
training, do that. But in the end, however you decide to use the 
resources, we want and demand results.
  Now, let me talk briefly about public school choice and charter 
schools. In the State of Delaware, as Governor, I signed into law 
legislation making Delaware the first State to go to statewide public 
school choice. I will never forget hearing a conversation between 
school administrators shortly after we signed that legislation into 
law. One administrator was heard saying: If we do not offer students 
and parents what they want in our schools, they will go

[[Page 26363]]

somewhere else. If we don't offer students and parents what they want 
in our schools, they will go somewhere else. In Delaware, they can do 
that. They take the money to another school. The money from the State 
taxpayer follows the students. We have injected competition and market 
forces into our public schools in ways that might have seemed 
impossible half a dozen years ago.
  The legislation we are debating, and will hopefully pass this week, 
says there will be consequences flowing from the annual tests given in 
grades 3 through 8. Among the consequences of a school failing to make 
progress toward their own standards, at the rate they have said they 
will make it, is that parents are given an alternative. We will provide 
assistance to help turn around the school, but public school choice 
becomes an option for parents after that second year that the school 
fails to make adequate progress. Transportation money is also provided 
so that a student can actually go from school A to school B if that is 
where they want to go. If school B gives a better education, the 
transportation money to get that child from school A to school B must 
be provided. Having dealt as Governor with public schools through the 
turmoil of public school choice and the challenges of its 
implementation, I know it is not easy. I am grateful to Senators 
Kennedy and Gregg for ensuring we provide the necessary resources to 
help schools and school districts to make that difficult transition to 
public school choice.
  After 4 years, if a school continues to fail students--if it fails to 
make adequate progress toward their State's standards--not only are 
parents provided with the option of public school choice, but that 
school has to be reconstituted. That school has to be closed, it has to 
be taken over by the State or by a business interest, or that school 
has to be turned into a charter school. As a State with a number of 
charter schools I know that charter schools provide wonderful 
educational opportunities for children in some of the most 
disadvantaged communities in America. However, we do not provide much 
help to charter schools to finance their facilities. We ought to. It is 
the number one challenge facing charter schools today--preventing new 
charter schools from opening and preventing successful ones from 
expanding. With this legislation, we provide some help at the Federal 
level to assist charter schools in accessing the credit markets and 
leveraging private capital. We also provide new incentives to encourage 
States to treat charters like other public schools and provide them 
with equitable funding for facilities.
  Let me conclude with one last thought. One of our sports heroes, 
especially this time of year as we play football on Sunday, is a fellow 
no longer with us, Vince Lombardi. He used to say about football: 
Unless you are keeping score, you are just practicing.
  In Delaware and States across American we have begun to keep score. 
We set the standards. We measure student progress. We are keeping 
score. We are trying to figure out what works and provide more money 
for those things that work.
  This is a tough-love approach. Sometimes on our side of the aisle we 
are viewed as just wanting to throw more money at every problem. We are 
all love. Sometimes those on the other side of the aisle are viewed as 
just being tough, as not willing to provide the resources that are 
needed in a loving way.
  The beauty of this legislation--and it is not perfect by anyone's 
judgment--is that it takes the toughness and it mixes it with a measure 
of love. We commit to investing greater resources on behalf of students 
in this country and in return we demand improvement. As a result, we 
emerge as a full partner with the States and the school districts 
across our country that are doing a whole lot of wonderful things to 
raise student achievement.
  I am convinced that no piece of Federal legislation will solve all of 
our problems with respect to schools. We are a minority partner with 
respect to public education. But with this legislation, and hopefully 
with the funding that will follow this week in the appropriations bill, 
we will be a more meaningful partner from Washington, DC, from our 
Nation's Capital, than we have ever been in the past.
  For everyone who has worked hard to get us to this day--Sean Barney, 
a member of my staff, Danica Petroshius and Michael Meyers of Senator 
Kennedy's staff, Michele Stockwell and Elizabeth Fay of Senator 
Lieberman's staff and Senator Bayh's staff respectively, and Denzel 
McGuire and Townsend McNitt of Senator Gregg's staff--my heartfelt 
thanks for a job very well done on behalf of all of our students.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank the good Senator.
  We have a number of other Senators who have indicated their desire to 
comment on this legislation. We are waiting now for the Senator from 
Ohio. As soon as he comes, I will yield the floor.
  I want to take a moment to reiterate another important provision in 
this legislation. Achieving our goal of a well-trained teacher in every 
classroom. That is a critical and important reform. There are other key 
reforms to which our colleagues have spoken, but I think this is one of 
the most important commitments in this legislation.
  For those who are very interested in this particular subject matter, 
there is a wonderful document entitled ``What Matters Most, Teaching 
for America's Future,'' a report of the National Commission on Teaching 
and America's Future, which I have found to be one of the most helpful 
and useful documents in terms of understanding what is happening in 
schools across the country and what is missing.
  Let me mention some of the conclusions they have reached in this 
excellent study. Their conclusions are evident in many communities 
across the country. I will also indicate what we have tried to do about 
them.
  I read from page 38. I will not ask, obviously, that the Record print 
it. The Record will include the parts I read.

       Some problems, however, are national in scope and require 
     special attention. There is no coordinated system for helping 
     colleges decide how many teachers in which fields should be 
     prepared, or where they will be needed. Neither is there 
     regular support of the kind [of recruitment] long provided in 
     medicine to recruit teachers for high-need fields and 
     locations.

  This legislation responds to that. It recognizes that recruitment is 
a national problem. The bill greatly expands the support for 
recruitment in all subject areas, including math and science, and 
through State-grant programs.
  This bill also includes Troops to Teachers, which has been enormously 
successful in a number of communities across the country. Also, there 
is support for the Transition to Teaching Program, which is another 
very successful program.
  Another important area:

       Turnover in the first few years is particularly high 
     because new teachers are typically given the most challenging 
     teaching assignments and left to sink or swim with little or 
     no support. They are often placed in the most disadvantaged 
     schools, and assigned the most-difficult-to-teach students 
     with the greatest number of class preparations. Many of them 
     are outside their field of expertise with a slew of 
     extracurricular activities with no mentoring or support. 
     There is little wonder that so many give up before they have 
     really learned to teach.

  We have included a very effective mentoring program that is 
responsive to this issue.
  This legislation supports teacher mentoring at the local level for 
all schools and for schools that have fallen behind. We must fulfill 
our goal of providing every new teacher with an effective and 
dependable teacher mentor.
  Finally, on professional development:

       In addition to the lack of support for beginning teachers, 
     most U.S. school districts invest little in ongoing 
     professional development for experienced teachers, and spend 
     much of these limited resources on unproductive practices. 
     Estimates of professional development support range from one 
     to three percent of the district operating budget even when 
     the costs of staff time are factored in.

  We have included provisions in this legislation that ensure that 
professional development will reconnect teachers to work with their 
students. It will be linked to concrete tasks of

[[Page 26364]]

teaching. It will be organized around problem solving. It will be based 
on scientifically based research and will be sustained over time by 
ongoing conversations and coaching. All of those recommendations are 
included in this report.
  This legislation requires professional development funding to meet 
these criteria that I have mentioned. In addition, all title I schools 
must spend 5 percent of their funds for professional development. Title 
I schools that are falling behind must reserve 10 percent of funding 
for professional development.
  Hiring well-trained teachers and having such teachers stay in 
classrooms located in underserved areas is a high priority in this 
legislation. We have taken the best recommendations we could possibly 
receive based upon experience and incorporated them into this 
legislation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I come to the Chamber today, as many of my 
colleagues have, to speak for this long awaited piece of legislation. I 
thank Senator Gregg and Senator Kennedy for the tremendous work they 
have done in bringing this effort together. There have been a wide 
range of differing views, clearly because of the differences of 
philosophy and attitudes about how the Federal Government should engage 
in the business of education at the primary and secondary levels.
  At the same time, clearly the Nation is replete with studies that 
indicate our children are not achieving at the levels they should and 
that the commitment is not as much as it could be, even though many 
States such as mine struggle as much as is possible to commit the 
public resources to education and at the same time knowing that in many 
instances it is woefully inadequate.
  We finally begin I think to recognize--this legislation reflects it--
that simply throwing money at the educational establishment will not 
solve our educational problems. That has been largely the argument at 
the Federal level for a good number of years: The only thing public 
education lacks is money. We now know that is not the total answer. We 
needed to cut Federal redtape to implement long overdue reforms.
  I think we truly want to see improvements in our educational system. 
There is no one in this Chamber or across America who doesn't want the 
goal of greater recruitment, higher quality of education for our young 
people, and, of course, our young people in the broad sense achieving 
at higher levels.
  This bill, while authorizing a substantial increase in Federal 
support for education, does not simply continue funding programs which 
have no track record of success or, even worse, which have a proven 
record of failure.
  We did this in the past. I think the result is evident. We spent more 
money for little to no improvement in the educational programs to which 
our young people were being subjected. Of course, the end result was 
obvious. Our children were not achieving at the levels that I think all 
of us would have wished compared with other educational programs around 
the world. We were not measuring up.
  The bill on which our conference committee worked so long and hard 
does not continue the old ways. That is why I am in this Chamber today. 
I think many of us who were skeptics and concerned, and watched very 
closely, recognize the work of this legislation has been long overdue 
in making the changes to the Federal programs and giving the States the 
flexibility to use the Federal dollars to implement programs and 
reforms, and, in much of it, it is their own reforms.
  For the first time, the Federal Government has made a real commitment 
to returning power to the States. This bill cuts through the redtape, 
as I mentioned earlier, allowing States to use Federal money to 
implement programs that they think are important, instead of programs 
that the Federal Government or the bureaucrats at the Department of 
Education think are the higher of the priorities.
  We know that in all of our States education varies, it differs, and 
in many instances it should. While the fundamental learning skills are 
always critical and uniformity is necessary, clearly, different States 
wish to attract and offer different approaches. I continually hear from 
principals, superintendents, and school board members about how their 
job would be made much easier if the Federal Government would let them 
do what they know how to do instead of trying to tell them how to do 
it. We finally paid attention to them. I think we are going to offer 
them the flexibility for which they have asked. All we ask in return is 
results. That is a rather simple equation.
  This demand for demonstrable results is indeed--and some have 
charged--a Federal mandate. I have been in this Chamber more than once 
before speaking against Federal mandates. But this one Federal mandate 
replaces numerous other mandates which are eliminated throughout the 
bill. This mandate is also unlike most of the other Federal mandates 
that are incorporated in current law today; it is fully funded. In 
fact, the bill requires full funding for the cost of the tests which 
will be developed due to its mandates. And if we do not fund those 
costs, the States do not have to implement the tests. That is a fairly 
reasonable and appropriate formula. If we do not own up to our promise 
and our commitment under the law, then the States do not have to follow 
suit.
  I suggest this bill isn't perfect, but then again my guess is most 
legislation that comes to the floor, depending on one Senator's or the 
other's point of view, would not meet that test. For example, it does 
not authorize full funding for the federally mandated Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act. It does provide substantial new moneys for 
the Federal program to meet the commitment, though. I hope next year we 
will fully reauthorize IDEA and fund it.
  That was a program where we promised but we never delivered. As a 
result of it being a Federal law on the ground that superintendents and 
principals had to live up to, there was a phenomenal drain of local 
education money to that program away from other programs and other 
commitments to education that were made. So, literally, local education 
funding was providing for a Federal law and a Federal mandate under 
IDEA.
  I am not going to stand here this afternoon and debate the value of 
IDEA, but certainly the commitment was made to fund it, and we are 
moving in that direction with substantially more moneys; we ought to 
continue to do that. What does it do? It frees up local money to go 
into education where it was intended. I think that is why it is so 
critically important.
  I think this bill provided by the conference committee, however, is a 
better vision of educational reform than the bill voted out of the 
Senate in June. I am glad we are finally getting it to the President 
for his signature.
  In the past few weeks, too much important legislation has been held 
up on the floor for partisan reasons or for somebody thinking they were 
gaining political points out in the field. Well, they may be gaining, 
they may be losing, but there is one very real thing about this 
legislation. If it passes, and if it is signed by the President, 
America's children win. That is the most important nature of any good 
education bill.
  It has been a top priority of this President, as it has been a top 
priority of this Senate for a good number of years, to move to improve 
public education, to participate in it at the Federal level, as limited 
as it may be, in a way that it enhances the authority at the local 
level to have greater flexibility in decisionmaking and ultimately, we 
hope, produce a higher quality of education for our young people.
  I am proud to support the final conference report. I am confident it 
will make important strides toward what President Bush calls the right 
vision, and that is that no child should be left behind by America's 
educational system.

[[Page 26365]]

  So, once again, I thank the two Senators who, along with others, have 
worked hard on this and have brought it to the floor for final 
consideration. I support the education bill's conference report and 
hope we move quickly on it. It is a good and right approach and a great 
Christmas present to America's schoolchildren.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks recognition?
  Mr. GREGG. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  Mr. President, I withhold that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I know Senator DeWine and Senator Enzi are on their way 
over to the Chamber. As soon as they arrive, I will yield the floor.
  I bring to the attention of the Senate a rather interesting story 
that recently evolved at the Sterling Middle School in Quincy, MA.
  Five years ago, the Sterling Middle School was known as the school 
where tough kids went. This year, Sterling was recognized by the 
Massachusetts Department of Education for the improvement they made in 
the statewide tests. In fact, Sterling has reduced their failure rates 
every year since 1998. How did they transform this failing school? The 
school changed the way they scheduled classes, giving teachers more 
time to teach and students more time to do things, such as experiments 
in science, problem solving in math classes, and serious writing in 
English classes.
  Teachers got the professional development they needed to make sure 
that longer classes incorporated techniques that would increase 
learning. And the school created a council, which gives parents, 
teachers, and students the ability to decide what textbooks work and 
how lessons should be structured.
  Since 1998, Sterling's eighth grade failure rates have dropped, from 
46 percent to 17 percent in math, and from 12 percent to 2 percent in 
English. This is a school which has turned itself around.
  The reforms we have enacted in this bill will give other school 
districts the chance they need to turn around schools that are failing. 
With this legislation, we give the teachers more professional 
development, we give the parents the voice they need to connect with 
the schools that serve their children, and we give the schools the 
flexibility to reduce their class size so that teachers can reach every 
child. So this bipartisan legislation will help more public schools 
provide the best possible education to every student.
  I will mention another factor. The absentee rate at the Sterling 
Middle School has been reduced by 90 percent, and today it is under 1 
percent. They previously had an enormous absentee rate and an 
incredible dropout rate which has been dramatically reduced.
  The Sterling school is low-income, working-class school. Forty-two 
percent of students in the Sterling Middle School receive free or 
reduced-price lunches. The district's free and reduced-price lunch rate 
is 28 percent. Eighty-one percent of Sterling students are white. The 
percentage of students in the Quincy district who are white is 70 
percent. Twenty-five percent of the students are classified as 
disabled.
  Principal Metzler credits the school's outcomes to a commitment to 
high academic standards for all children, including those with 
disabilities. The school has instituted a full inclusion program for 
children with disabilities. There is block scheduling to extend 
instructional time, and math and reading are integrated throughout the 
curriculum.
  These are the kinds of innovations taking place at the local level 
that we are giving life to with this legislation and which we believe 
will be replicated and duplicated across the country. This is an 
extraordinary example of how things work.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, one of the very important aspects of this 
legislation deals with accountability. In addressing accountability, we 
must address the issue of assessment. A number of our Members have 
focused on this issue. I want to discuss several points, in the few 
minutes we have waiting for our colleagues, about why developing high-
quality assessments is such an important goal.
  Under this bill, States will develop their content standards about 
what children ought to know in a particular grade. Those standards will 
shape curriculum. With ensuring that all classrooms have a well-trained 
teacher, and with quality curriculum, we will be able to assess 
students to find out what they are learning, and where we need to 
improve. Schools will identify areas for improving student achievement, 
and will provide active support and extra assistance to help those 
children. Such services may be accomplished throughout the school day, 
or they may take place after school. The school has the flexibility to 
decide what works in terms of that support.
  Several of my colleagues raise questions about assessments, and about 
the practice of testing. I recognize from the outset that American 
children are the most overtested children in the world. However, the 
problem is that we're not focusing deliberately measuring what we 
should. And we're not focused on the quality of the measure--too many 
children are being tested with off-the-shelf tests, and we're running 
into situations where teachers are teaching to such low-level tests.
  This obviously undermines what we are attempting to achieve with this 
legislation. Our objective is much different in this legislation. We 
seek to establish high standards. We seek to set in place the reforms 
that will ensure that all students meet those standards, because we 
know that they all have the potential to achieve. And we seek to use 
good assessments as tools, not as reforms in and of themselves, to 
gauge the success of our progress, and to understand the academic needs 
of students.
  All assessments under this bill must be aligned to State academic 
standards to help teachers and parents understand how well a child 
knows a particular subject that is being taught. All of this works 
together. You have challenging content standards. You have good 
curriculum. You have high-quality tests. You have the well-trained and 
highly-qualified teacher--the real professional--working with students 
to ensure their success. It is all coordinated. Rarely are all of these 
pieces in place in all of our schools. So often schools with needy 
children are the places where one or more of these elements are 
missing. We must change that.
  Assessments are important tools in school reform. We need objective 
information about how children are achieving in order to identify the 
problem areas and fix them. When your car breaks down, the mechanic 
runs a test to determine where the problem is. Is it in the carburetor 
or the exhaust? Is it in the electrical system? Then the mechanic uses 
the tools specific to the problems to fix it. When you are sick, the 
doctor performs a series of tests to determine what the illness is that 
you have. Then the doctor prescribes a remedy specific to the illness.
  The academic tests under this bill serve the same purpose. They help 
the teachers and parents diagnose the problem and apply remedies that 
will help the child achieve in those areas. The tests are not punitive. 
They serve as a stethoscope, not a hammer. This bill builds upon 
current law by requiring States to administer one test each year in the 
elementary school grades, one test in the middle school grades, one 
test in the high school grades, until 2005.
  Not all States have complied with this requirement. We need to get 
about the business of doing it, and doing it now. There is no excuse 
for having poor-quality, sub-par assessment program.
  Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, States will be required to 
administer assessments in every grade, 3

[[Page 26366]]

through 8, in order to provide accurate information. That gives States 
3 years under our bill to develop a high-quality system that is valid, 
reliable, and aligned to standards. Such a system should ultimately 
provide accurate information about student achievement from year to 
year, and should be useful in diagnosing student needs, skills, and 
knowledge more accurate. All of the tests under this bill must be of 
high technical quality, and based on nationally recognized professional 
standards.
  However, we know the tests cannot provide a complete picture of how a 
school is doing. Therefore, we require that the States use the 
additional resources such as graduation rates and retention rates to 
determine whether a school is performing well. We have made tests an 
integral part of the reform, and we provide the resources to help the 
children do well in them.
  We will begin to provide States the resources to develop and 
implement these assessments in FY 2002, even though the tests 
themselves will not be required for close to 3 more years. There will 
be resources available to the States. Help is on the way to meet the 
challenge of ensuring that all students achieve to high standards.
  Seeing the Senator from Ohio, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio is recognized.
  Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Massachusetts. I 
congratulate him and Senator Gregg for their tireless efforts to bring 
this bill to us. I also, of course, congratulate Congressman Boehner as 
well as the President of the United States for his leadership. This 
bill has been a long time coming. It has really taken a tremendous 
amount of work on behalf of all of the leaders in this effort.
  Over the last several months, as we have debated the reform of our 
public schools, I have argued it is necessary that we look at exactly 
where we are as a society and how this is affecting our public 
education system. If we don't look at ourselves and how our society 
reflects itself through education, we will not make any reforms, we 
will seek no change, and we will fail our children.
  As I see it, tragically, our society is becoming more and more 
divided, divided along economic and educational lines. This division is 
certainly nothing new. Scholars and sociologists have been warning us 
for many years that this was where our Nation was headed, particularly 
if we didn't properly educate our children. Tragically, we have not 
heeded these warnings.
  As a result, our Nation today is a Nation split into two Americas: 
One where children get educated and one where they do not. This gap in 
educational knowledge and the gap in economic standing is entrenching 
thousands upon thousands of children into an underclass and into 
futures filled with little hope and little opportunity. This is 
happening across the country, and certainly it is happening in my home 
State of Ohio, which in many respects is a microcosm of what is 
happening all over our Nation.
  In Ohio, growing income and educational disparities are creating our 
very own permanent underclass. Most of Ohio, candidly, is doing better 
economically and educationally.
  The children in these areas have a great future. However, when we 
look across the entire State, we see two areas where this is not always 
taking place--areas where the children are not being as well educated 
as we would like our own children to be educated. And these are also 
areas where the income level shows that disparity. We see it in 
Appalachia, we see it in our core cities.
  Too many children in Appalachia and too many in our core cities are 
at risk. In fact, according to the National Center for Education 
Statistics, in 1999, young adults living in families with incomes in 
the lowest 20 percent of all family incomes were five times as likely 
to drop out of high school as their peers from families in the top 20 
percent of the income distribution.
  Just look at some of the class of 2000 graduation rates of my own 
home State of Ohio in the urban areas. In Akron, only 72 percent of the 
State's high school students graduated last year. That is actually a 
high rate for an urban area. In Toledo, only 67 percent graduated; in 
Columbus, it was 62 percent; in Youngstown, 59 percent; in Dayton, 57; 
in Canton, 53 percent; in Cincinnati, 51 percent; and in Cleveland, 
only 34 percent of the students who started high school actually 
finished. Yes, that's right, only one-third of the students in 
Cleveland public schools graduated; two-thirds did not.
  I think if you look across the country, you will see these figures 
replicated in urban areas, no matter what State we are referencing. 
There is something wrong when that many of our children are simply not 
graduating. There is also something wrong in this country when nearly 
one-third of college freshmen must take remedial courses before they 
can begin regular college-level course work. There is something wrong 
when only one-third of fourth graders can read. The practical result of 
this is a society that is growing farther and farther apart, not closer 
together. So how do we bring society back together? That is our 
challenge. How do we bring about equality and opportunity so that all 
children in this Nation have the chance to lead full, meaningful, and 
productive lives as adults. We do this in the same way that we have 
always done it, and that is through education.
  As Horace Mann, a former president of Antioch College in Yellow 
Springs, OH, and the man known as ``the father of public education,'' 
once said:

       Education beyond all other devices of human origin, is the 
     great equalizer of the conditions of man--the balance-wheel 
     of the social machinery.

  Mr. President, this is exactly what education can and should do. It 
should provide all children, regardless of their economic circumstances 
or family backgrounds, with the tools they need to make it as adults in 
our society--the tools necessary to rise above individual situations of 
poverty and instability, individual situations of hopelessness and 
despair. It truly has been, for generation after generation of 
Americans, their ticket out of poverty, their ticket out and away from 
despair--their ticket to opportunity.
  The education reform conference report we will be voting on tomorrow 
is certainly a step in the right direction. It is a step toward giving 
our children the tools they need to move ahead in life. Mr. President, 
we in this Chamber cannot fix broken homes or solve the issue of 
poverty overnight, but we can use finite and limited Federal dollars in 
ways that help close this education gap in America. We can use the 
finite resources of the Federal Government to help close that education 
gap and give these children opportunities. I believe the best place to 
begin on the Federal level is by restoring accountability and 
achievement with the single most important resource in the classroom, 
and that, of course, is the teacher.
  When I think about teachers, I think about something else that Horace 
Mann once said. He said that ``teaching is the most difficult of all 
arts and the profoundest of all sciences.'' I can certainly attest to 
that. As a college student at Miami University many years ago, I spent 
4\1/2\ months as a student teacher at Princeton High School north of 
Cincinnati. It was tough. In many respects, it was the toughest thing I 
ever did.
  Teaching is tough. In fact, that is what I have learned firsthand--
that Ohio's and America's teachers simply don't get the respect, the 
admiration, nor the salaries they deserve. Not surprisingly, the 
National Center for Education Statistics predicts that within the next 
decade, we will need to hire 1.7 million to 2.7 million new teachers to 
replace those who retire or leave the profession.
  While this exodus of teachers is certainly a daunting challenge and a 
very real and pending problem, it is also an enormous opportunity. It 
is the single greatest opportunity for us as a country, as parents, as 
community leaders to reshape the next decade of education in the United 
States. When I think about this opportunity, when I think about how we 
can shape education to the greatest benefit of our children, I am 
reminded of something my own high school principal, Mr. John Malone, 
once told me many years ago. He

[[Page 26367]]

said that when it comes to education, there are only two things that 
matter: One, a student who wants to learn; the other is a teacher who 
can teach. Mr. Malone was right many years ago, and he is still right 
about that today.
  Nothing is more important than that teacher in the classroom. When 
you get right down to it, good teachers are second only to good parents 
in helping children learn. So any effort to restore confidence and 
improve quality in education must begin with a national recommitment to 
teaching as a profession.
  I believe we are doing just that with our education reform 
legislation. Through language in the bill which I worked to have 
included, we can expand, enhance, and encourage support for teachers 
all across America.
  First, we have a provision that would provide support for people in 
other professions who seek a second career as a teacher. We need to 
make it easier, not harder, to recruit future teachers from the 
military, from industry, and from research institutions--people with 
established careers in real world job experiences who want to go into 
teaching. We must utilize them and we must make it easy for them to 
enter the classroom.
  My provision would allow the use of Federal funds for alternative 
teacher certification programs. This will allow States to create and 
expand different types of alternative certification efforts. It would 
make it easier for them to enter the teaching profession.
  Second, we have a provision giving support for teachers seeking to 
improve subject matter knowledge or classroom skills. This language 
helps ensure that our teachers have access to training academies where 
they can sharpen and improve their skills as teachers. There is such a 
facility in Cincinnati called the Mayerson Academy. Teachers can go 
there to learn from seasoned educators, experienced educators who can 
guide and help them become stronger in the classroom. Plans are already 
underway for a similar teacher training academy in Dayton, OH. No 
doubt, this kind of support should be available for teachers in every 
community in our country.
  When we have studied teaching and education, we have found that many 
times teachers start off and they are put in the classroom; they have 
just come out of teacher's college and they don't get the mentoring or 
assistance they need. That is something that will truly make a 
difference.
  Finally, we have a provision for giving support to new teachers from 
experienced teachers who do, in fact, serve as these mentors. Many of 
our experienced, most senior, most knowledgeable teachers are about to 
retire, and it is vital that we don't lose their expertise.
  We can utilize their skills through mentoring programs. Our provision 
would allow the use of Federal funds for new and existing teacher 
mentoring programs.
  All of these provisions we have worked on are included in the final 
version of this bill.
  I also believe we need to prioritize our limited Federal funding to 
recruit and retain good teachers in our high-need urban and rural 
school districts. One way to do that is by recruiting teachers from the 
military through the Troops to Teachers Program. Last year I worked to 
save this program, and I fully intend to do the same this year.
  Troops to Teachers assists retiring military personnel in gaining the 
State certification necessary to teach. Furthermore, Troops to Teachers 
helps broaden the makeup and skills of our current teacher pool. 
Finally, it brings the best teachers to the schools and the children 
who need them the most.
  This is a program that has been championed by the First Lady. It is a 
program that has received wide accolades. It is a program that works. 
We need to not only continue it, we need to expand it.
  Because the Federal role in education accounts for only a small 
percentage of district spending--about 8 percent; that is about all the 
Federal Government puts into a typical school district--we must be 
especially prudent and wise in allocating those limited Federal 
resources. That means we should direct those dollars first and foremost 
to America's neediest school districts.
  In keeping with that notion, I am very pleased that the conference 
report makes sure a portion of increases in title I funds goes to the 
target grant formula. I congratulate the conferees for doing this work. 
This formula would funnel Federal funding directly to school districts 
in the highest poverty areas of the country. Again, I thank Senator 
Kennedy and Senator Gregg for this work.
  The target grant formula recognizes the disparity between public 
education in affluent and poorer school districts and that there was a 
unique set of challenges associated with educating impoverished 
children. However, since the formula's creation in 1994, not a single 
Federal dollar has been appropriated to fund this grant program; that 
is, until now.
  In the floor debate on the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, I supported 
Senator Gregg's amendment to provide $1 billion for the target grants. 
This will fundamentally reform our education system, and it is about 
time. By funding the target grants, we are finally focusing on those 
children most truly in need.
  While I strongly believe the teacher is the most important resource 
in the classroom and that it is necessary to target funds to those 
districts most in need, there are other issues in education we need to 
address, such as the problems of drugs and violence in our schools. My 
colleague, Senator Chris Dodd from Connecticut, and I have improved the 
Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program. We worked on this for well over a 
year. This bill authorizes $650 million for the State grant program and 
additional funds for the national program. This vital program provides 
funds to over 97 percent of school districts nationwide to keep our 
schools safe and drug free.
  This bill incorporates the reforms on which Senator Dodd and I have 
worked. This bill will make a difference in this area.
  We need this program because a child threatened by drugs and violence 
is not able to learn, and a teacher afraid to stand in front of a 
classroom is certainly unable to teach, and that is a situation we 
should never, ever have in our schools.
  I believe it is clear that the Government can make a difference in 
restoring quality and equality to education. On the Federal level and 
on the State level, the Government can help target programs to those 
children in those districts most in need. However, the whole realm of 
education is so big and so vital and so all-encompassing that it is 
something we cannot leave to the Government alone to fix. Everyone 
knows that.
  Parents, families, and communities must take an active role in 
reforming our schools and helping our best teachers stay in our 
children's classrooms. Parents must go into their children's schools 
and help the teachers teach, volunteer to read to the classes, or help 
teach math, science, history, or literature. Society must help provide 
opportunities for families in need, help teach them, help them learn 
how to help their own children succeed in school.
  Ultimately, education reform is a journey toward the horizon, not a 
destination but a never-ending, forward-leading journey toward the 
future. So as we move toward that horizon, as we move ahead for the 
sake of our children, we need to get back to basics: Good teachers, 
Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and parental and community involvement in 
the schools.
  I am confident we will go forward in the days ahead to give the 
children the tools they need for a bright and promising future.
  We will go forth to restore quality and community in our system of 
education.
  We will go forth and establish a new way of thinking--a way of 
thinking that challenges and changes the current culture of education 
in America.
  We will go forth and restore education's ability to ``equalize,'' as 
Horace Mann suggested.
  We cannot rest--we must not rest--until every child in this country 
has

[[Page 26368]]

teachers who are qualified to teach and schools that are safe, drug-
free learning environments. Our children's future and the future of 
America hang in the balance.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Levin). The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Ohio for his 
comments both on education and Haiti. I think he is modest in character 
when he is talking about Haiti. He mentioned he is going there next 
month. He did not mention all of the years he and his family have been 
going there, and not just going there on vacation but going there to 
work with the poor. As those of us who have traveled to some other 
countries know, it is a different level of poor. It actually deserves 
and needs another word because it is so far below the poor we recognize 
that it kind of defies imagination unless a person has been there.
  I appreciate the effort that his family makes each and every year to 
go to Haiti and consequently to understand that Government a little bit 
better. It does tie in with education because as of September 11 our 
world got smaller. The United States and the students in the United 
States did not have the tendency to notice what was going on in the 
other countries as much as they do now, and that is a stronger part of 
the education now and a more understandable part by the kids in the 
United States.
  Mr. DeWINE. I thank the Senator for his very generous comments.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, my main purpose today is to address the 
education bill, which conference report we are looking at now. I am a 
member of that conference committee which spent nearly 6 months 
considering this bill, and I am especially pleased to be talking about 
this landmark legislation.
  As many of my colleagues have and will mention, this bill provides 
the most comprehensive education reform since 1965. The Senate and the 
conference committee went into this to a different level than we have 
done for years, and I am happy to report it lives up to its name by 
achieving the simple yet powerful goal of ensuring that no child is 
left behind, a request we had from the President.
  I give particular thanks and congratulations to the Senator from New 
Hampshire, Mr. Gregg, who played a very forceful role in each step of 
the process with this bill and was a significant contributor to the 
negotiations, someone who directed the negotiations, was in the 
negotiations, and came up with some unique compromises that made this 
bill possible.
  Senator Gregg is a person who is intensely interested in education. 
Part of that is from his tour as Governor of New Hampshire, which has 
carried over into his Senate work. He is truly a person in education 
that has a very strong focus and a vision for what needs to be done.
  I also, of course, congratulate and thank Senator Kennedy for his 
intense effort on this bill and willingness to come up with a solution 
for America. Senator Collins of Maine needs to be mentioned 
particularly for her efforts and particularly her wordsmanship that 
resulted in some of the compromises, particularly that helped on a 
couple of our controversial rural issues.
  Senator Hutchinson of Arkansas spent a lot of hours and, of course, 
Senator Sessions of Alabama, with his intense interest in children with 
disabilities, and the vast number of school visits he has made to 
schools in Alabama over the last couple of years has brought some 
insight into the classroom that has been very helpful. There are a 
number of us who try to get into the classrooms when we go back home on 
a regular basis and see what the problems are and the successes to see 
if we cannot overcome the problems and share the successes.
  Does this bill contain everything? No. But it does contain the 80 
percent we all agree on, and that is since September 11 the new way we 
have of doing business.
  We are going ahead with issues on a much faster and more dramatic 
scale than has happened in decades probably. We have had to do bills 
from scratch in less than a week. The normal process is to spend 2 or 3 
years working different versions of a bill, having hearings, working 
compromises between Members, eventually getting it to a hearing in 
committee and then markup in committee, which is where the amendments 
are made, and then bringing it to the floor for debate.
  Our form of government is designed to have a very lengthy process, 
and it works. It has worked for centuries now, longer than any other 
existing government. But on September 11, we had to change our 
operation. We had to take care of some problems on a shorter term basis 
than we have ever had to handle before, and we did it. We were putting 
out about a bill a week on topics that had not been debated extensively 
in committee or on the floor.
  Are they perfect? No. Legislation seldom is. Do they do the job? Yes. 
Will they be revisited? Yes.
  Education is not one of those emergency terrorism bills. It is a bill 
that has been worked on continually by Congress. We even held the 
debate before September 11. We were involved in conference committee 
before September 11. However, the bill before the Senate contains the 
80 percent on which we all agree. The other 20 percent we will continue 
to hash out over the months and years to come.
  We have completed the bill and done it successfully. The conference 
report reflects an agenda President Bush made clear during his first 
days in office when he invited lawmakers to his ranch in Crawford to 
discuss his No. 1 domestic priority, education reform. It emphasizes 
accountability, flexibility, and local control, funding for programs 
that work, and expanding parental control. It has student access to 
technology, it has high-quality teachers, and safe learning 
environments as a priority.
  In addition, this legislation fulfills an important commitment to 
States such as Wyoming that are already heavily investing in improving 
student achievement by allowing them the flexibility they need to 
continue to innovate.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record a letter from 
the Governors of a number of States. Additional Governors, of course, 
will join, but this includes Connecticut, Georgia, Arizona, Arkansas, 
Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, 
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and last, 
but only by virtue of the alphabet, Wyoming.
  There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                                December 10, 2001.
       Dear Members of Congress: We are writing to support H.R. 1, 
     the education reform legislation that embodies the education 
     goals of both President Bush and the Congress. As Governors, 
     we have served on the front line in promoting educational 
     improvement in our own states. We believe strongly that H.R. 
     1 will help significantly in furthering this worthy cause 
     throughout the country.
       First, we appreciate the increased resources for education 
     authorized in the legislation. The bill will provide federal 
     funding for key priorities such as Title I grants for 
     disadvantaged students, Title II grants for teacher 
     professional development and training, and Reading First 
     funds for states to implement comprehensive reading programs 
     in the early grades. And it appears as if funding for 
     elementary and secondary education will increase by more than 
     20 percent this year.
       Second, we are pleased that H.R. 1 grants states and local 
     districts unprecedented flexibility and freedom in deciding 
     how federal education funds should be used to meet the unique 
     needs of their students. In the key titles relating to 
     teachers, technology, and bilingual education, authority over 
     spending will pass rather dramatically from the federal 
     government to states and local districts. Further, states and 
     local districts will be given far greater authority to move 
     funds from certain uses to other uses they deem to be more 
     effective at achieving improvement in student results.
       Finally, as supporters of accountability in education, we 
     favor the accountability features of H.R. 1. We know that 
     when adults are held responsible for student progress, that 
     progress tends to be greatest. H.R. 1 establishes a 
     comprehensive accountability system, and, wisely, it does so 
     in cooperation with the states. States will set their own 
     standards. States will select their own assessments. States 
     will have a great deal of

[[Page 26369]]

     flexibility in establishing the details of how and when the 
     elements of accountability will be implemented for their own 
     schools. And, where the federal legislation calls for 
     specific steps to be taken, such as annual testing, federal 
     funds will be made available to pay for them.
       President Bush has challenged the nation to leave no child 
     behind. The Congress has responded with H.R. 1, which is 
     grounded in the best practices derived from the states over 
     the past decade. States have modeled reforms, which have in 
     turn become the basis for this landmark legislation. The 
     Congress should complete action on H.R. 1 immediately so that 
     every state, district and school can begin 2002 with a clear 
     and bright beacon shining on their path to improved student 
     achievement.
           Sincerely,
         Gov. John G. Rowland, Connecticut; Gov. Roy Barnes, 
           Georgia; Gov. Jane Dee Hull, Arizona; Gov. Mike 
           Huckabee, Arkansas; Gov. Bill Owens, Colorado; Gov. Jeb 
           Bush, Florida; Gov. George Ryan, Illinois; Gov. Bill 
           Graves, Kansas; Gov. Mike Foster, Louisiana;
         Gov. Jane Swift, Massachusetts; Gov. Kenny Guinn, Nevada; 
           Gov. Don DiFrancesco, New Jersey; Gov. Gary Johnson, 
           New Mexico; Gov. George Pataki, New York; Gov. John 
           Hoeven, North Dakota; Gov. Frank Keating, Oklahoma; 
           Gov. Mark Schweiker, Pennsylvania; Gov. Lincoln Almond, 
           Rhode Island; Gov. William J. Janklow, South Dakota; 
           Gov. Don Sundquist, Tennessee; Gov. Jim S. Gilmore III, 
           Virginia; Gov. Scott McCallum, Wisconsin; Gov. Jim 
           Geringer, Wyoming.

  Mr. ENZI. These are States that see the special emphasis in the bill 
and want to add their congratulations and hope for approval of the 
conference report. We are always encouraged that those who have that 
direct of a hand in education are showing support for work we have 
done.
  H.R. 1 strikes a good balance between making sure that Federal funds 
are well spent and maintaining appropriate State and local control of 
education. It significantly changes accountability standards with the 
goal of assuring that low-income and minority students, as well as 
other students, are learning. Yet it also prohibits national testing or 
Federal control over curriculum. While States will be required to 
administer the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known by 
the acronym NAEP, every other year in grades 4 and 8, there will be no 
rewards or sanctions associated with the results. The use of NAEP will 
simply be a tool for parents to evaluate the performance of their 
child's school against others in the Nation.
  Of course, we will also provide accountability for NAEP and we will 
watch to see if they can get the results out faster than in previous 
experience--as when I was in the Wyoming Legislature. It will give a 
measure, a comparison, for parents to rely on and to give them some 
direction with what their children are learning compared to the rest of 
the Nation.
  Some of the most important provisions in this bill concern our 
Nation's teachers. As we know, one of the greatest educational 
resources is our teachers. I say this not only because my daughter is a 
teacher but because research has found, with the exception of involved 
parents, no other factor affects a child's academic achievement more 
than having knowledgeable, skillful teachers. Every member knows that. 
Every Member knows teachers who have had a tremendous influence on 
lives, ones who challenged us or encouraged us or disciplined us.
  Right now, there are Hallmark ads on behalf of teachers, in a very 
special way conveying a message of thanks, something we need to do to 
teachers in the past who have influenced our lives and made a 
difference. By the time we are in the Senate, a lot of the teachers are 
to longer around to be able to get that thanks. It is an opportunity we 
should not pass up.
  There is a Hallmark ad I particularly like where the teacher is 
retiring, packing up his books. A lady comes to visit, a former 
student. She is surprised that he does recognize her and even remembers 
a paper she wrote. He says: I suppose you went on to be one of those 
corporate, well-paid lawyers. She says: No, I became a teacher, like 
you.
  We need to be thankful we have people who are willing to teach 
children, educate children, and spend the time with kids, to know them 
well enough, to help them understand what learning is. We have those 
kinds of dedicated teachers in the United States. This bill will help 
to ensure there continue to be those kinds of teachers.
  There were several places where contentious negotiations took place 
during the deliberations on this conference report, but one area that 
was not negotiable was ensuring our children have high-quality 
teachers, especially when it comes to reading and math. H.R. 1 contains 
unprecedented reforms that will help to ensure that all children are 
taught by a highly qualified teacher.
  Unlike more restrictive proposals that require States and local 
school districts to use Federal funds exclusively for the purpose of 
hiring new teachers, this legislation provides maximum flexibility to 
States. It will allow them to develop high-quality professional 
development programs, provide incentives to retain quality teachers, 
fund innovative teacher programs such as teacher testing, merit-based 
teacher performance systems, alternate routes of certification, or to 
hire additional teachers, if that is what they believe is necessary.
  Despite all of these efforts to improve teacher quality, there are 
some who say all we really need to do to improve student achievement is 
to hire more teachers. For small, rural States such as Wyoming, that is 
not the answer. While I certainly recognize our Nation is facing a 
teacher shortage in the coming years, Wyoming currently has a declining 
student enrollment, which is forcing some school districts to eliminate 
teaching positions. Moneys specifically earmarked for hiring new 
teachers will be of little help to schools in these areas with 
declining enrollment.
  In addition, rural States such as Wyoming often have difficulty 
recruiting and retaining teachers--especially highly qualified 
teachers. We do have quite a bit of success, once we get them to come 
to Wyoming, at retaining them. Of course, we recognize anybody who can 
make a living in Wyoming usually lives in Wyoming. We do appreciate 
those teachers who come and stay.
  In this bill, money earmarked for new teachers does not help Wyoming 
keep teachers from leaving. Congress must provide State and local 
school districts with flexibility to pay good teachers more money or 
provide other incentives in order to encourage them to continue 
teaching.
  It is because of issues such as these that I am particularly pleased 
this legislation paid special thanks to rural school districts. H.R. 1 
provides rural districts with increased flexibility in funding to 
enhance academic achievement while helping to ensure that students in 
rural areas have equal access to educational opportunities. As many 
folks from Wyoming are aware, rural schools often receive too little 
money from Federal categorical formula grants to provide meaningful 
services to their students. By the time the formula is broken down for 
the size of the school, there is not enough money to do the program.
  In addition, they generally do not have personnel or resources 
necessary to secure Federal competitive grants which many schools use 
to augment and innovate beyond what is provided for in formula grant 
programs. The Rural Education Achievement Program, also known in this 
bill as rural flex, is included and addresses these problems by 
permitting rural schools to combine funding from a number of different 
formula grants. This allows rural schools to better serve their 
students by allowing them flexibility to determine where their money 
can do the most good.
  Eligible school districts can use funds for virtually any activity 
authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including 
educational technology, professional development, technical assistance, 
and teacher recruitment and retention.
  The conference report also makes it clear that rural districts often 
face unique challenges in implementing restructuring actions that 
result from 5 consecutive years of failure, and they should be given 
flexibility as long they are held to the same accountability 
requirements as other districts.
  Distance does create challenges. In Wyoming, we have miles and miles 
of

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miles and miles. We have a population of 493,000 people, and our State 
has 400 miles on a side. The average town that I visit is about 250 
people. It is a long way between those towns. For virtually every town, 
you can drive outside of it and you see the whole town at once. It is 
not one running into another, running into another, running into 
another. Even Cheyenne, WY, our largest city of a little over 52,000, 
can be seen in its entirety by driving outside the town and looking 
back at it, and it is a long way to be able to see the next town. In 
fact, usually you cannot see a next town.
  What happens if you give people flexibility with schools, if they can 
go to the public school of their choice but is too far to go to another 
school? We already have public choice in public schools.
  Usually our schools are not failing, so this provision would not 
pertain to those schools anyway. But this bill will allow those rural 
schools that have failed to make progress but may not have the 
resources necessary to hire a completely new staff of teachers or find 
a private contractor willing to take over the school's governance, to 
take advantage of additional options as long as they are equally 
rigorous and are likely to help the school improve its performance.
  Under the same provision, the Secretary of Education will be required 
to assist rural districts that request assistance in implementing 
alternative governance arrangements.
  I thank Senators Collins, Murray, and Bingaman for their hard work on 
this particular language. I am also pleased the conferees were willing 
to recognize that schools in rural areas and small towns often require 
additional assistance to implement an advanced technology curriculum. 
Due to the isolated nature of many small rural towns, technology can 
offer rural students academic opportunities that they otherwise would 
not have. Ensuring that rural students are technologically literate is 
vitally important to many communities in my State of Wyoming. I am 
pleased the conferees have demonstrated their commitment to improve 
academic performance in rural areas and have helped rural students 
participate in the highly competitive economy of the 21st century.
  Wyoming has been a pioneer in distance learning. We now have the 
capability, in many schools--no matter how small or how rural--to have 
classes the kids can take through a distance learning program to give 
them a wider variety of choice of classes. This bill will help to 
enhance that.
  This bill also preserves the integrity of Federal educational 
programs that impact Native American children. As a Senator from the 
State of Wyoming, which was the crossroads for many of the Indian 
tribes and is now the home of the Shoshone and the Arapahos, I believe 
it is critically important that the United States continue to fulfill 
the Federal Government's unique and continuing trust relationship with, 
and responsibility to, American Indian people for the education of 
Indian children.
  I am confident that the action of this conference committee has 
helped to ensure the programs that serve Indian children are of the 
highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and 
secondary educational needs but also the unique educational and 
culturally related academic needs of these children.
  I am also pleased we were able to make improvements in the Impact Aid 
Program. That affects many areas of our Nation that have military 
bases, Indian reservations, or other Federal property districts that 
limit the ability to generate funds to pay for education. Then the 
Federal Government steps in to provide for that revenue that was lost 
by having that Federal facility.
  I am pleased we were able to come up with a compromise that allows 
districts and schools that are most heavily impacted to be served first 
through the competitive construction grants that are authorized by this 
bill. It is my hope the changes made by this conference committee will 
emphasize the importance of making Impact Aid construction grants on 
the basis of greatest need and maximized effort so we can continue to 
fulfill the Federal Government's obligation to impact districts and the 
children who reside there.
  As a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and an Eagle 
Scout, I am glad to report that the H.R. 1 conference report includes a 
provision that would deny funding to any public school or educational 
agency that discriminates against or denies equal access to any group 
affiliated with the Boy Scouts.
  Our children are our most valuable resource and we must prepare them 
to face the challenges of the 21st century. We cannot do this by 
allowing Washington politicians to implement a one-size-fits-all 
approach to education. The No Child Left Behind Act allows States to 
decide how to best serve their students and teachers. I strongly 
support this conference report. I encourage my colleagues to do the 
same.
  I thank the President for his leadership on this historic 
legislation. If it were not for his determination to craft bipartisan 
reform of our Nation's educational system, we would not have this bill 
before us today. I also thank Senator Gregg and Senator Kennedy for 
their tireless efforts to craft the compromises that made this bill 
possible and brought it to us at this time. They and their hard-working 
staffs deserve a great deal of credit for this bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to take just a moment because I 
see my friend and our committee member, Senator Reed, in the Chamber. I 
also thank Senator Enzi for his work and his support on this 
legislation.
  We have some important protections of rural education in here. I took 
a few moments earlier today in a presentation to show that we have 
about a 30-percent increase--for example, in Detroit, MI, in terms of 
the urban areas, but we have a similar increase in the poorest rural 
areas of this country as well. He has fought, not only on that issue, 
but also for flexibility in rural areas.
  He was very much involved in the Indian education programs and has 
been, as we all know, and is involved in education technology issues. I 
thank him.
  This legislation incorporates a number of recommendations that 
Members have made. Senator Enzi has been very constructive and helpful. 
I enjoy working with him on this, as I always do when we work on OSHA. 
I always enjoy working with him on OSHA.
  I was not in the Chamber when Senator DeWine spoke. As has been 
referenced earlier, Senator DeWine and Senator Dodd restructured the 
whole Safe and Drug Free School provision. It is better in this 
legislation. It is enormously important. All of us have seen in very 
recent days the rather dramatic increase in substances that have been 
coming into the United States, principally, I believe, because our 
Coast Guard has been involved in other kinds of activities. This has 
been true in the Northeast, I learned from talking to various law 
enforcement officials. They are overstretched and overworked. The total 
membership of the Coast Guard is just what it was in the 1960s, and we 
have given them many more responsibilities. But the Safe and Drug Free 
School provision has been enormously important, particularly in dealing 
with violence in schools.
  So I thank Senator DeWine for his work. He has also been very much 
involved in Troops to Teachers. I see the chairman of the Armed 
Services Committee. He knows about this, is familiar with this program, 
and has supported it. Senator DeWine has been very much involved, 
particularly in the areas of science and math, where retired officers 
have gone back into education. It has made an enormous difference. I 
thank him for his work.
  I see my good friend, Senator Reed. I want to tell America, if you 
see a library being modernized in your school district, there is the 
man right over there who was able to do it. We were in an incredible 
situation with regard to expanded reading. This is one of the principal 
recommendations of the President. It is very worthwhile. Also the early 
education reading. There was

[[Page 26371]]

strong support for that and a budget allotment for it, but not for 
libraries. Our good friend, Senator Reed, had brought up the problems 
that school libraries have been facing.
  Also the parent involvement, I mentioned earlier this afternoon the 
role of parent involvement: Tough accountability for students, tough 
accountability for schools, and real responsibility for parents.
  There are two areas where we are going to need responsibility in this 
institution and in the States. We have to get the resources. Senator 
Reed has been the most actively involved in making sure we are going to 
have school libraries, parental involvement provisions, and highly 
professional development for teachers.
  I thank Senator Jack Reed for all of his good work. He comes from 
Rhode Island, which has a long tradition of educators, with Claiborne 
Pell, former chairman of our committee and the author of the Pell 
grants and many other important educational programs as well. There is 
something in the air in Rhode Island; all of their Senators are 
strongly committed to good education for children. We are fortunate to 
have him as a member of the committee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Dayton). The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I thank Senator Kennedy for those very kind 
and gracious words.
  Today represents the culmination of a very long process to 
reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It has been 
difficult and daunting, and at times very frustrating. We are here 
today because of the work of many people. But singular among those 
people is the senior Senator from Massachusetts, the chairman of the 
committee, Mr. Kennedy. His determination, his creativity, his 
persistence, his unwillingness to accept anything less than a bill that 
would materially aid children of America in their education is today 
manifest on the floor of the Senate. We owe him a great debt of thanks 
and great praise.
  Of course, he was part of the process with our other colleagues, 
Senator Gregg, the ranking member, and, in the other body, Congressman 
Boehner and Congressman Miller, with whom I had the privilege of 
serving on the Education Committee when I was in the other body.
  A great deal of the tone, texture, and change in spirit was the 
result of President Bush's commitment to work for education, and doing 
so in a bipartisan way.
  Today we see the culmination of that long and at times trying 
process. Today we have legislation which represents, I believe, an 
advance in giving every child an opportunity to learn and an 
opportunity to be educated in this country, which is the greatest 
opportunity one can ever have.
  We are building on previous efforts. As a younger Member of the other 
body, I served on the conference committee for the Goals 2000 Act and 
the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. 
It was there that we talked about tougher accountability and stronger 
insistence that the States step in when schools are failing. We 
insisted upon higher standards. We met resistance, but we insisted. We 
did not go as far then as I believe we could have gone, or should have 
gone. But today I believe there is vindication of those efforts almost 
8 years ago when we talked about insisting that schools be held 
accountable and that real money flow to schools so that children can 
learn. We have taken steps in the intervening years as a result of 
Goals 2000 and the 1994 reauthorization.
  In every State in the country, there has been some effort. In my 
State of Rhode Island, there has been a great deal of effort, and I 
commend my local leaders for what they have done to move education 
forward.
  As we approached this reauthorization, there were several important 
goals that I believed we must achieve.
  First, we should strengthen and build upon the accountability system 
that was developed in the 1994 reauthorization.
  Then we should ensure that the President's proposals for testing in 
grades 3 through 8 have appropriate guidelines and not unduly harm 
students or the educational initiatives that are already underway in 
many States, including in my home State of Rhode Island; that we should 
also offer increased flexibility; and that we should insist upon high 
standards but give the States and the communities the ability to reach 
those standards through means that they could choose locally.
  Then, finally--and I believe most importantly--we had to give the 
States the resources to make the changes that were urged upon them. We 
had to give them the resources to meet those standards.
  These are the parameters I used to judge the legislation that is 
before us. I believe we have in a very meaningful way met those 
expectations.
  Having erected a structure of accountability, having sensitized the 
schools of this country to be more sensitive to performance and to 
better teaching and to parental involvement, the test now is making 
sure that the States, the cities, and the towns in America have the 
resources to do the job. That is the test we will be taking in the 
years ahead.
  As Senator Kennedy stated, there were some particular issues in which 
I was interested. I am pleased to say we have made progress on those 
issues.
  In the area of school libraries, I have long been a firm believer 
that good school libraries mean good education. Study after study has 
concluded that if there are good school libraries in school systems, 
those schools will succeed. In fact, there have been studies in diverse 
communities, such as in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Alaska, which 
indicate that a good school library means better performance, 
regardless of geographic area and regardless of income. It is just one 
of those obvious points to which people will agree. But the real 
challenge is to go beyond the nodding of the head in agreement to the 
funding and support for school libraries.
  Interestingly enough, Dr. Susan Neuman, the Assistant Secretary for 
Elementary and Secondary Education in the Bush administration, is one 
of the experts in this regard. She found through her research that 
limited access to books leads to poor academic achievement. 
Unfortunately, if you look at school libraries, particularly in poor 
communities in this country, they are starved for resources, for space, 
and for trained librarians and library assistants. As a result, it is 
no wonder that this is another burden on the education of children, 
particularly children from disadvantaged areas.
  I was mystified when I arrived in the other body in 1991 that the 
Republicans eliminated direct support of libraries back in 1981 as part 
of the Reagan revolution. In 1994, working with Senator Kennedy, 
Senator Bingaman, and Senator Pell, my distinguished predecessor, we 
were able to reestablish a school library program. Another of the great 
heroes of that effort was Senator Paul Simon of Illinois.
  Sadly, within months of completing the reauthorization in 1994, the 
new Republican Congress eliminated the library program as an authorized 
program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  This year, however, with President Bush's emphasis on increasing 
reading skills and literacy, and developing teachers who are adept at 
teaching reading, there was another opportunity to push forward on the 
issue of school libraries. The President's initiative seeks to increase 
professional development for teachers to improve reading instruction. 
However, it makes little sense to me to have better reading teachers 
and children eager to learn to read but libraries that are deplorably 
inadequate.
  I have been sent materials from time to time by librarians from 
across the country. A librarian from Arizona sent me a book about the 
U.S. Constitution which I thought was interesting, particularly when I 
noted that the foreword was written by the distinguished President, 
Calvin Coolidge. It was still on the shelves of this library several 
years ago. I believe when President Coolidge wrote his foreword there 
were several amendments to the Constitution that had not yet been 
adopted.

[[Page 26372]]

  That is just one example of books that are terribly out of date. Some 
of them are terribly offensive with respect to stereotypes of today, 
and which we would abhor, but are still on the shelves of many school 
libraries.
  If we are going to train teachers to be better reading instructors, 
if we are going to embrace the eager young children and challenge them 
to read, we have to give them the materials to read.
  I was extremely pleased, particularly when this legislation came to 
the floor and Senator Collins, Senator Snowe, Senator Chafee, and 
others joined me in passing an amendment that would authorize $500 
million to support school libraries. It was a 69-to-30 vote--a clear 
indication that this Senate on a bipartisan basis was standing strongly 
behind school libraries and school librarians.
  We took this issue to the conference, and we were successful in the 
conference. We now have legislation in this report that once again 
supports school libraries. But the challenge remains to translate these 
very noble words into real dollars in the next budget cycle.
  With respect to parental involvement, Senator Kennedy also indicated 
that this legislation strongly reflects an emphasis on parental 
involvement.
  Once again, parental involvement is not something that is just nice 
to do, something that is good socially; it is the heart of a good 
educational system in this country and any place in the world.
  Research has indicated that if you have strong parental involvement, 
you will have better performance from students. Students need to know 
that their parents care about education. They need to know that their 
parents care about what they are doing and learning.
  In 1999, I introduced the PARENT Act, legislation which I developed 
in conjunction with the National PTA to implement effective ways to 
include parents in the lives of schools. Some would say: Why do we need 
to do that? We need to do that because today there are parents who--
simply because of time constraints, because both spouses are working, 
because they have children in three different elementary schools--do 
not have the same kind of opportunities, if you will, to be part of the 
life of their school as, perhaps, our parents did. So we have to 
develop new and different techniques to reach out and involve these 
parents.
  Then we have parents who themselves have been very unfulfilled by the 
educational process. Their educational experience was deplorable or 
something they do not want to recall. Those parents find it difficult, 
in many cases, to be effective teachers of their children because of 
the apprehension, if you will, about school. We have to reach those 
parents.
  In the past, we have tried to do this, particularly through the title 
I program. A 2001 study by several academics looked at the title I 
program. They found that title I schools have always talked about 
parental involvement. There has been a model to bring parents in as 
collaborators.
  In the past, in our reauthorizations, we have tried to stress 
parental involvement. In 1983, we said you have to have an annual 
meeting in a title I school with the parents. In 1988, we talked about 
involving parents in planning and providing more information to 
parents. In 1994, we said districts have to spend at least 1 percent of 
title I moneys on parental involvement. That is all well and good, very 
noble words. But, once again, there was very limited accountability, 
very limited oversight.
  As a result, there has been very limited participation by parents, 
particularly in those difficult areas where disadvantaged students and 
disadvantaged parents are likely to be.
  So it is no surprise that when the PTA surveyed the parents of 
America, fully 50 percent said they were inadequately informed about 
what is going on in the school. They felt they could not participate in 
their school. They felt the school was not user friendly to them, the 
parents.
  So working with the PTA, and others, we tried to craft legislation 
that would, once again, in a meaningful way, attempt to involve parents 
in every school in America by adding accountability to title I; not 
just a list of things you have to do, but an insistence that these 
things be done: Provide parental access to information about their 
children's education, make sure there is an active and effective and 
ongoing collaboration with schools, require states to disseminate to 
every school research-based practices that work to actually involve 
parents.
  We also, when we looked at some of the other programs--such as the 
Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, the technology program, and the 
teacher quality program--insisted there be an aspect of parental 
involvement with the idea that parents just don't show up one night a 
semester for parent-teacher conferences, but they are active in 
planning many aspects of the life of the school. This legislation, I am 
pleased to say, was significantly incorporated in this conference 
report. I believe it represents a significant advance providing not 
just a list of nice things to do, but real accountability so these 
aspects of the parental involvement will, in fact, be done.
  There is another important aspect of this legislation in which I was 
keenly interested, and that is professional development. We all 
recognize and we all stand up and say, sincerely and emphatically: 
Every child deserves a highly skilled, highly motivated teacher. But we 
have to go beyond the words. We have to make that a fact of life. And 
it is not a fact of life at so many schools.
  In the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, just in 1998, I 
worked closely with my colleagues and incorporated aspects of 
legislation I had previously introduced called the TEACH Act, which 
established grants to foster partnerships between teaching colleges and 
actual schools in communities.
  One of the defects of teacher preparation is the fact that sometimes 
it is totally disconnected from the real life of the teacher, that the 
clinical aspect or the practice aspect is just a few weeks in a 4-year 
curriculum. The TEACH Act is now part of the Higher Education Act. It 
establishes a relationship between teacher colleges and elementary and 
secondary schools which, I believe, will provide more realistic 
preparation for teachers.
  But we have to pay attention not only to the new teachers who are 
entering our schools, but we have to pay attention to all teachers. 
That means good, solid professional development for the incumbent 
teachers, for those who are teaching today in the classrooms of 
America. That is why I introduced legislation, the Professional 
Development Reform Act, which I am pleased to say is incorporated in 
many parts of this legislation.
  There is a broad consensus that good professional development has to 
involve sustained intensive activities that focus on deepening 
teachers' knowledge of content, that allow teachers to work 
collaboratively, that provide opportunities for teachers to practice 
and reflect upon their teaching, that are aligned closely to these new 
standards, and that all of it is embedded in the daily life and work of 
the teachers.
  We all recall some experiences we have had. I recall that once every 
year there was a teachers institute. We thought it was terrific. We got 
the day off. I did not know what the teachers did there, but I found 
out later. In most cases, they went to a big hall. They listened to a 
lecturer talk about something that may or may not be interesting to 
them. They socialized and then went home. That, for many school 
systems, was professional development. It was clearly inadequate.
  Professional development has to be based upon content, what that 
teacher is purporting to teach: Math, science, history, and English. 
They have to know what they are teaching. Sadly, there are lots of 
teachers who do not know that. And we do not force them, through 
professional development, to master those details.
  Then they have to have the opportunity to collaborate. One of the 
great problems of elementary and secondary education is the fact that 
so many teachers walk in in the morning, they

[[Page 26373]]

have a cup of coffee, say hello to the rest of the teachers, and that 
is the last time they have a conversation with an adult for the rest of 
the day. At 3:30, they get in the car and go on with the rest of their 
life.
  We have to build into our educational system the opportunity for 
teachers to talk about the craft, the art of teaching. We have to, of 
course, make all of this correlated with and focused on the high 
standards that we insist that our children meet. This is a daunting 
task.
  This legislation reflects, in many respects, an emphasis toward 
moving toward those very challenging aspects of professional 
development. I would like to have gone further, but we have gone at 
least, I believe, in the right direction.
  There are examples of very effective professional development around 
the country. I have visited Community School District 2 in New York 
City. It is in Manhattan. It is a school district that is committed to 
professional development. They do exactly what all of the experts say. 
They provide, for example, young teachers the ability to observe 
exemplary senior teachers. They have senior teachers working one on one 
with other teachers. They have peer networks where teachers can get 
together and talk with their peers about the educational process.
  All of this is exciting. It makes teaching something more than a dull 
exercise of showing up, reciting something to students who are not 
particularly interested, and then walking out. Too often--in fact, I 
would argue if it happens anyplace, it is too often--that is the 
experience.
  Let me mention one other aside about this notion of collaborative 
effort. One of the interesting things that happened in Rhode Island--we 
were lucky because we have a State that is committed to educational 
progress--is that one of our foundations, the Rhode Island Foundation, 
actually gave laptop computers to a significant portion of our teachers 
in the State.
  You can do that when you have a population of a million people. And 
the teachers used them, not just to do lesson plans but actually to 
interact and collaborate with other teachers on challenging questions 
such as what to do with a child who continually refuses to be quiet and 
sit down. These are not things you learn in a lecture on the cognitive 
processes of schoolchildren but something you need to know to be a good 
teacher. They found it out by simply getting advice from seasoned 
teachers. That is what we have to do. This legislation moves in that 
direction.
  There is another aspect, too, that I have been very interested in, 
and I believe it is key to our educational progress. That is to 
recognize that the school is one of the few places in our society where 
children are there for an extended period of time. There is a 
requirement that they go. But in effect, schools can't succeed as 
islands isolated from the other institutions of life.
  We talked about parental involvement. That is the first and most 
important aspect of education, the parent as teacher. But many children 
have problems with health care. Many children have mental health 
issues. Many children have problems because of the social problems of 
the family. If the schools ignore those problems, those children will 
invariably fail. They have to be cognizant of all the issues that 
influence a child.
  I think it is important to recognize in the school and even have an 
organization in the school that can access multiple services for 
children. We could have a great nursing program. We could have great 
mathematical instructions. We could beef up our science laboratories. 
But if a young child does not have a place to live, or comes in on a 
cold day without a coat and goes home without a coat, chances are we 
are not going to be able to challenge that child to do their best work. 
We have to recognize that.
  In fact, as important--and it is very important--as this legislation 
is, we have many other things to do to ensure that every child learns, 
that no child is left behind. We can start with housing, health care, a 
long list. We are making progress today, but we would be deluding 
ourselves to think we have solved the problems of children in America 
by simply reforming education.
  It is important in the context of education to have these 
institutions and organizations. In Rhode Island, they are called COZs, 
child opportunity zones. Within the school there is a trained person 
who can link up a child and the family to social services, childcare, 
housing programs, all those things that are going to make a difference 
in the life of that child, so when they come to school they will be, as 
we have said for decades, ready to learn. I hope, indeed, that some of 
the efforts we have made in this bill will advance that very important 
principle.
  As we began this debate about the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act, as we moved through the Senate, several very important issues 
became obvious. First, to the extent we quite properly insisted upon 
accountability, we had to recognize that we must design an 
accountability system that is fair and flexible. We could have designed 
a system in which every child in America passed. That would be a waste 
of time, a waste of money. We could have designed a testing system 
where everyone failed. That would be counterintuitive and foolish. So 
over the last several months we have been working to try to reach a 
point where there was enough flexibility in the States that they could, 
in fact, achieve progress. I believe in the process of debate and 
discussion, again with the tremendous leadership of Senator Kennedy, we 
have made progress.
  We have a system now that recognizes standards, standards that have 
integrity, standards that are checked ultimately by a national test, 
but also that allow the States the flexibility so their good schools 
will continue to be recognized as good, and schools that are not 
meeting that standard have an incentive and a direction to move 
forward. We have made that progress.
  In so many cases, what we are doing is complementing the efforts that 
have been accomplished in local communities. In my State of Rhode 
Island, we have had tremendous efforts to reform our schools. In 1997, 
my legislature passed article 31 which mandates an extensive series of 
evaluations, of school improvement teams, and ultimately, if schools 
fail, giving the State not only the authority but the responsibility to 
step in and set the schools right.
  That type of system should not be compromised by a scheme here in 
Washington that basically turned the clock back, put my State back to 
the starting point and made them run an entirely different race. I 
believe, through the efforts of the conferees, we have a situation in 
which my State and other States can build on what they have done to 
create even a better system. That is one aspect that we confronted as 
we moved along.
  The second aspect, the one that is the most troubling, is the fact 
that all of these important innovations and initiatives that have been 
embraced by this legislation will not be successful if we do not have 
the funds to give the States and the communities to carry out our 
intent, our wishes and their wishes, which is truly to give every child 
an opportunity and an excellent education.
  We know we are in a very difficult, precarious situation. The tax cut 
of last spring has set us back immensely in having the extra resources 
or even the resources at all to robustly fund education, to make it the 
kind of national priority this bill calls for. After September 11, it 
is even more difficult. But before September 11, as vice chairman of 
the Joint Economic Committee, I was pleased to be able to issue a 
report of the Democratic staff on September 7 that raised very 
seriously the question of whether or not we were going to be in 
deficits for the foreseeable future because principally of the tax cut. 
The reality is, we are.
  The OMB Director declared a few weeks ago that we are looking at 
several years of deficits. So that will make it very difficult for this 
Congress to live up to the very challenging standards we set for 
ourselves in this legislation. But live up to it we must.
  The situation here in Washington is difficult. If you go back to the 
States,

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it is even more difficult. It has been estimated that the States have 
already scheduled about $11.3 billion in educational cuts to meet their 
budget crisis. As we are talking about extra money in the billions, 
that is very encouraging, but it really could be offset before we even 
sign this bill by the cuts we see in the States. They are taking 
drastic steps. That $11.3 billion means laying off teachers, 
eliminating teacher training, eliminating parental involvement, all the 
things we say are necessary, all the things about which we are speaking 
with great pride and purpose. The States are forced today to begin to 
cut those.
  In Rhode Island, the Board of Governors for elementary and secondary 
education suggested that the state increase the education budget by 4.4 
percent. The Governor has told every State agency to cut their budget 
by 6 percent. To his credit, he has said there will be a little extra 
for education. We won't force them to have the 6-percent cut. But 
nowhere is he prepared to meet the 4.4-percent increase. That is going 
to be multiplied throughout this country. So we are looking now at a 
situation where we will have to struggle mightily for resources. The 
States are already cutting their budgets.
  And so again we can be pleased that this structure of educational 
reform has been completed, but if it is built on a foundation that 
shifts with the winds of deficit, then we are going to be in an awkward 
position in the months and years ahead. That is why I was so strongly 
committed to supporting the efforts of Senator Harkin, Senator Hagel, 
Senator Jeffords, and so many others to fully fund IDEA, to make that 
funding mandatory.
  First, it is the right thing to do. Back in the mid-1970s, we 
committed ourselves--the Federal Government--to IDEA, to share 
significantly with the States the cost of meeting the education needs 
of students with disabilities. We never lived up to that. Year in and 
year out, we have all said how strongly we believe in IDEA, how much we 
have to fund it. We relay tales of our school committees and 
superintendents, and how they insist that if you do anything at all, 
please fully fund IDEA. Yet when we had the opportunity to do that in 
the conference, we blinked, we refused to do that.
  IDEA seems to be one of those issues where we say wait until next 
year--but next year never comes. Once again, we have to wait until next 
year. But the real test of education reform, I believe, will be whether 
or not we do fully fund IDEA next year in our budget and whether we do 
fund these other innovations incorporated in this legislation.
  Fully funding IDEA is the right thing to do. There are 6 million 
children today being served by IDEA. They are in regular classrooms, by 
and large. They are part of the life of the school. They are not 
shunned and excluded as they were in the fifties, sixties. It turns out 
that the high school graduation rates for children who receive IDEA 
instruction are much higher than their predecessors'--those young 
Americans who were pushed aside and urged to leave school or were put 
in special classrooms. It is working, and we have to make it work more.
  The other aspect about IDEA is, if we had made the spending 
mandatory, we would have freed up significant dollars for other 
education programs. Now, IDEA will compete with title I and other 
programs, such as Pell grants, and it will compete with a whole range 
of programs--all of them important, all of them, I suspect, every 
Member of the Senate will stand up and support and say we have to do 
more. Well, we had the chance to do more, and we failed to do that.
  I commend Senator Harkin and Senator Jeffords and my colleagues, 
Senators Collins, Roberts, Warner, and Hagel. This was a bipartisan 
effort on the Senate side. The House, unfortunately, did not agree with 
us. But we must attend to this as a first order of business in the next 
session of this Congress.
  This conference report, I believe, represents great progress by many 
of us. Accountability has increased and improved. One aspect, which is 
particularly noteworthy--and I believe it has been mentioned by many 
colleagues--is the increased targeting of title I. That program was 
designed in 1960 to help low-income students, but through the process 
of legislation it has been flattened out so that title I reaches many 
students and it is not targeted to the very poor. This legislation 
changes that and, given the caveat of robust funding, it could be the 
most significant aspect of this entire legislation. I believe, again, 
this is something very near and dear to Senator Kennedy's efforts--not 
just this year, but over the lifetime of his service to the country and 
the Senate. I commend him for that in particular.
  I am pleased, as I have made clear before, about the library 
provisions included in the President's literacy program. This 
legislation is much more sensitive, in many different aspects, to 
parental involvement. Professional development--although it doesn't go 
as far as I would like--sets the right tone, the right direction, and 
is emphasized as a critical aspect of not just development of teachers, 
but reform of education.
  We have the concept of child opportunity zones that has been embedded 
into the legislation. I hope we can build on that and see how that 
works. I know it works in my State. I hope we can take that notion of 
coordinating and integrating services for children in the school and 
make it something that is common in every jurisdiction.
  Bilingual education has been strengthened significantly. There is 
also good news in the fact that provisions in the other body that would 
have limited bilingual education to 3 years were stricken. Now it is 
much more oriented to serving these children, getting them to master 
English as a critical language, not just here in the United States but 
around the globe, and not arbitrarily saying you have 1, 2, 3 years to 
learn it. That might be easy for a 5- or 6-year-old coming to this 
country, but what about a 14-year-old who grew up in a country without 
the educational advantages we take for granted? I would find it 
difficult to become a fluent speaker in another language in 2 or 3 
years. I assume that would be the case for others coming here. This 
legislation does not have an arbitrary limit.
  The safe and drug-free schools program, once again, incorporates 
aspects of parental involvement. Technology grants are here, with 
participation by parents as well as teachers and educational 
supervisors. The accountability provisions have been hard fought over 
many weeks. It represents a balance between a legitimate and credible 
national standard, together with local flexibility, ultimately checked 
by the national test, which will see how well the States are doing, 
given the opportunity to develop their own tests internally.
  All of this is very commendable and, in some respects, exciting. But 
I come back to what I have said throughout this presentation: All of 
this will be interesting but ineffectual without real funding--not just 
at the Federal level, but at the local level; not just for 1 year, but 
for many years.
  One of the great experiences of my life was being able to serve as a 
soldier in the Army. One of the great transformations of a lifetime was 
the transformation of our military. One of the key aspects was their 
recognition that you had to train the trainers--better professional 
development. It was done with the knowledge that you had to have real 
resources to do it. You had to commit real resources. We did that.
  Today we are seeing amply demonstrated the wisdom of increased 
professional development, high standards of accountability. But 
resources go along with it.
  I will conclude by simply saying that one aspect of this legislation 
that has received a great deal of notoriety has been the fact that 
every child in America, beginning in 2005, will have to be tested from 
grades 3 through 8. I am confident that the children of America will 
pass those tests--if this Senate passes the test it faces next year: 
Fund education aggressively--IDEA and title I. If we pass our test, I 
have no doubt the children of America will pass their test. If we fail, 
how can we blame them?

[[Page 26375]]

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank my friend again, my colleague 
from Rhode Island, for his excellent presentation in highlighting a 
number of the very important provisions included in the bill in which 
he was particularly interested. I thank him also for emphasizing the 
importance of responsible action and investment in education by the 
States, and by the Federal Government.
  As I mentioned earlier in the day, we are putting a great deal of 
responsibility on children and youth to succeed academically. We are 
putting enormous responsibilities on the schools to teach effectively, 
and we are giving a great deal of information to the parents so that 
they can be responsive and effective advocates for their children. All 
of these ideas and reforms are set forth in this legislation. But the 
ingredient that will make the real difference, and ensure that all of 
this works, is funding--additional help and assistance State 
legislatures and additional help from this institution. We are prepared 
to make that case in the future, as we have tried to do so often this 
past year, and in the most recent past with some success.
  Mr. President, I thank all of our colleagues on both sides for their 
comments. A number of colleagues came and talked about the different 
parts of the legislation that they were most involved in, and we have a 
number of others who are looking forward to making comments tomorrow. I 
think there is requested time for probably 12 to 14 colleagues on our 
side. I know a similar number on the other side will have a short 
timeframe. We are coming in at 9:30 and intend to vote at noontime.
  In summary--and I will do this very quickly--I think if someone can 
think about these elements together, I think they come to the 
realization that each of these reforms is important, but taken 
together, they give us something that is very special in this 
legislation, reforms that are eminently worthwhile.
  We were talking about State standards. We will have additional 
discussion on the issue of standards and assessment tomorrow, but I 
would like to highlight these elements in this legislation and make a 
brief comment before we adjourn this evening.
  In this legislation, we talk about assessments and States developing 
content standards--what the educators, parents, and those involved in 
educational policy think a child should know at a grade level. We then 
highlight curriculum development, and invest in a well-trained teacher 
for each classroom. After reforms are in place, high-quality 
assessments help us identify what a child does not know so that we may 
assist that child to achieve the knowledge he or she needs to succeed.
  That is our desire, and we are doing it with assessments that are not 
off-the-shelf tests but a thoughtful way of testing not only what the 
child has actually learned but also how they have learned to think.
  I will mention briefly several aspects of these assessments. They 
must be valid and reliable. They must be aligned to academic standards. 
The scores must be disaggregated by race and ethnicity, English-
proficiency status, migrant status, students with disabilities, and 
economically disadvantaged students so that we know that all children 
are learning. And so that we can identify who is falling behind, and 
provide additional help and attention to such children.
  Gone are the days where students fall through the cracks. Children 
will not fail with no attention to their failure in a given classroom. 
We will know. And we will be held accountable. This is incredibly 
important.
  We are going to insist the tests meet high standards of validity and 
reliability, and that they are developed consistent with professional 
and technical standards. There must be multiple measures within the 
test multiple test items, varying formats, and multiple tests to assess 
the highest order of understanding and thinking; not just memorizing, 
but critical thinking and true problem solving. That is a key element. 
All educators understand that developing those skills is the key to 
student success.
  Under this bill, Itemized score analyses of test results will be 
prepared and reported to school districts and schools to address 
specific academic needs so districts will know if their children are 
falling behind, and why. All schools and school districts, for the 
first time, will have the data to know. We will be able to analyze not 
only a particular school but also an entire school district, which is 
very important.
  We have individual diagnostic reports that will be provided to 
teachers, parents, and principals to provide information on student 
achievement and help address the specific academic needs of the 
students.
  Students with disabilities will be provided reasonable adaptations 
and accommodations for inclusion in State assessments. If a child needs 
additional time because of a disability, they will receive the time 
they need. That will be worked out by teachers and by professionals so 
parents will not be tormented with saying: My child could have done all 
right if they had a little more time. States vary in the type of 
accommodations they provide to students with special needs. But some 
States have structured a system that works very well. We have taken the 
success of those States and worked closely to model this legislation to 
ensure that all students with special needs--students with disabilities 
and students with limited English proficiency--are provided the 
accommodations they need to succeed. I believe that we will make a 
major difference in the evaluation of such students.
  States must also identify languages other than English that are 
spoken by English language learners, and identify the need for testing 
such students in their native language. This is of the utmost 
importance, because we have seen in States such as Colorado that, at an 
early point in their academic career, some English language learners 
perform better on assessments in their native language than they do in 
English. Ultimately, and at the appropriate time, all students should 
be assessed on their reading skills in English. But in the meantime, 
States must make every effort to develop native language assessments. 
These are the kinds of details we have gone into in this area and why 
we think it will make an important difference in educational 
enhancement.
  I will quickly summarize in these final moments before the Senate 
goes in recess for the evening. We have basically set goals to achieve 
academic proficiency for all children in this country within 12 years. 
I said on a number of occasions those great words of H. L. Mencken: For 
every complex problem, there is a simple, easy answer, and it is wrong. 
We understand it is complex, and it is going to take us some time. We 
set the goal for 12 years for proficiency for all children, and we are 
going to need the resources to do it. We are setting the mark down now 
that we are starting down that road.
  We have increased targeting of the resources, as we explained 
earlier, both in rural areas and in urban areas; a qualified teacher in 
every classroom, and professional development to continue to support 
their professional growth. These are key aspects of ensuring 
opportunity for our children. I talked about these reforms earlier 
today.
  We are allowing States to continue to reduce class sizes. There will 
be the resources to do that, not as broad as I would like, but there 
will be resources.
  We expand afterschool opportunities. There will still be a lot of 
children who will not be able to participate because we are not giving 
that enough support, but it is in the bill.
  We promote safe and drug-free schools.
  We expand the support for limited English proficient students. I was 
reminded of the success of bilingual education, listening to my 
colleague from New Hampshire earlier, who is not here now, as he spoke 
about the failure of bilingual education programs. Not all bilingual 
education programs are successful. However, many are. I know of some 
school districts where they are

[[Page 26376]]

teaching children several days a week in English, and other days in 
Spanish. The students receive dual immersion in those two languages. 
The limited English proficient students learn in their native language 
and in English. And at the end of the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, 
these children have higher levels of literacy than that have only 
learned in one language. There are successes. Not all of them are 
successful, but there are successes, and this legislation builds on 
those programs that have been successful.
  Since 1995, the two-way bilingual education programs introduced in a 
number of the elementary schools in the St. John's Valley in the State 
of Maine have taken substantial steps to improve student achievement. 
The French-English program is an additive bilingual program, meaning 
that all students learn a second language without compromising their 
first language. This is the only program of its kind in Maine.
  The St. John's Valley district, through support from a federal 
bilingual education grant, supported costs for teaching training, 
materials, and administrative costs between 1995 and 2000. In 1997, 
students from the immersion program at the second grade out-performed 
non-immersion students on the California Test of Basic Skills in 
reading, vocabulary, and language mechanics. The trend continued in 
1998 with students in the bilingual education program placing 93rd in 
the national percentile in reading and math on that test. Clearly, 
there are programs that work, and they work well.
  The additional commitment to reading and early reading in this bill 
is enormously important. Parental involvement, resources for the 
construction of charter schools, expansion of school libraries, 
assistance for children's mental health and emotional needs--this is 
something which is of enormous importance. Supportive resources for 
struggling schools, accountability for results, protecting civil rights 
of all children--each reform is eminently worthwhile.
  Taken together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This 
conference report deserves to receive an overwhelming vote in the 
Senate. I look forward to that tomorrow.
  If there is no one further who desires to speak, I suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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