Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript

CNN TV

EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President Bush Delivers Remarks on Education Reform

Aired September 10, 2001 - 15:46   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We want to take our viewers right down to Florida this afternoon. That is where the president has gone. He's gone down there. Even though a lot of other people are talking about the economy these days, the president wants to refocus the nation's attention on education, particularly about his program to support more reading in the nation's schools and among the nation's young people.

The president is speaking now in Jacksonville, Florida, an elementary school there. Let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the superintendent of schools here for Duval County is here. There is. Thank you, Super, for being here.

I picked a man who had been the superintendent in Houston, Texas. I didn't want somebody who knew the theories of education. I wanted somebody who knew the practical aspects of education; somebody who'd been on the front lines; somebody who shares with me the belief that every child can learn; who was willing to challenge what I call the "soft bigotry" of low expectations; the feeling that if you lower the bar you're going to get lousy results, and that we all ought to raise the bar. And that's my friend from Houston who is now the secretary of education, Rod Paige. Thanks for coming, Rod.

RODERICK R. PAIGE, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: I want to thank the boys and girls who are here. I like sometimes when I see elementary school students, or for that matter, middle school students, sometimes high schools, to ask the question: Do you read more than you watch TV? That's good when they say yes. Make sure you tell the truth.

(LAUGHTER)

And that's an important question to ask, because it's so much easier to watch TV and not read. And yet you learn so much more when you read. So all of us as parents have got to work hard to teach our children the importance of practicing reading, and the importance of not watching TV, in all due respect to the camera folks back there.

(LAUGHTER)

Because reading is essential, and we've got to get it right as a nation. Now, lest I make the governor feel uncomfortable, I'm absolutely against the federalization of public education. I believe that the best way to achieve excellence for every child is to pass power out of Washington; is to trust the local folks.

(APPLAUSE)

And I presume the good governor is still doing what he said, which is to pass power out of Tallahassee to Jacksonville, because one size doesn't fit all, and it's important to empower people at the local level to give them the flexibility necessary to meet common goals.

But the federal government can help, and it will help.

In the bills that I've submitted that passed the House and the Senate, we've got a fantastic reading initiative started. First, there's the call for more money...

CHEN: You've been listening to the president speak down in Jacksonville, Florida. Again, he's gone down there to talk about education at, in all places, an elementary school, talking before the young people there and trying to bring the nation's attention back to the problem of education reform. He, of course, is trying to put a little additional pressure on members of Congress to get to work on his education plan. That has been held up. There have been some issues about testing and funding, and that has held up action on the education plan.

The president wants to pressure Congress to pay a little bit more attention to that issue, and so he's drawing the nation's attention and the cameras down to Florida to do that today. President Bush down in Jacksonville as this hour.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   


Back to the top