President Bush’s proposal for high schools calls for $1.5 billion in new testing and intervention funds in fiscal 2006, plus more spending for some existing programs. Highlights include:
Require states to test students in English and mathematics and three grade levels in high school. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states currently must test students each year in grades 3-8, but only once in high school. The president would provide $250 million to help states develop those tests.
HIGH SCHOOL INTERVENTION:
Create a new, $1.2 billion flexible spending pot for states to hold high schools accountable for teaching all students and to provide effective and timely intervention for those students who are not learning at grade level.
EXPANSION OF “STRIVING READERS":
Boost by eightfold—to $200 million—the budget for the president’s Striving Readers initiative, which seeks to help struggling middle and high school students with reading. Mr. Bush requested $100 million for the program for the current fiscal year, but Congress provided only one-quarter of that amount.
MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHER DEVELOPMENT:
Provide $269 million for the Mathematics and Science Partnership program, which is targeted toward professional-development programs for teachers. The program is now financed at $179 million.
Provide $45 million for the State Scholars program, which encourages students to take tougher high school courses. Also, high schoolers from low-income families would be eligible for up to $1,000 in additional Pell Grant aid for each of the first two years of college if they complete the State Scholars curriculum.
SOURCE: The White House
A version of this article appeared in the February 09, 2005 edition of Education Week as President’s High School Agenda