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Special Event

Bush Makes Education No. 1 Priority

Aired January 25, 2001 - 10:37 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to go to Washington, D.C.; President Bush speaking at Meritt Elementary School in the nation's capital. Let's listen in.

(AUDIO GAP)

KAGAN: Well, apparently we haven't quite figured out the microphone situation at Meritt Elementary School. Why don't we go ahead and -- there we go.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... systems tend to restrict curriculum, that all the school will do is teach the test. This school proves that's not the case. This school focuses on basic education and reading and math. And, by the way, they've got a fabulous curriculum for reading, one that works.

But this school also is a school that enriches beyond the basics of reading and math; it's a school that's got a curriculum that's focused on basic education, but it's a school also that understands the importance of the arts. It's a school that broadens the horizons of the students.

We're here to tout excellence and to thank, to thank good folks in this institution and inside this building who love our children and are willing to put their love into practice in a system that works.

Dr. Shannon (ph), thank you very much for having us. We're so honored to be here.

Again, I want to thank the members of the congressional delegation who came up as well.

It's a real treat to be able to walk around the halls of a successful school, and, most importantly, be able to look children in the eye and wish them all the best, encourage them to go to college.

But thanks for having us. It's our honor to be here. God bless.

KAGAN: We heard just the end of President Bush's comments there; also Mrs. Bush there with him there at Merritt Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The president said that when he started his administration he wanted to make education his No. 1 priority, and he has come out swinging -- bringing education issues and proposals to the front of the nation's agenda in his first days in office.

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