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Both George Bush and John Kerry want to improve the nation’s public education system, and they currently have proposals before the public-and, in President Bush’s case, before Congress-that merit serious consideration.

A new policy brief by the Alliance for Excellent Education compares George Bush and John Kerry’s positions on education reform as they impact America’s secondary schools and students. As the country faces the need for an increasingly skilled and educated workforce to remain internationally competitive and productive, it is critical that policymakers at all levels of government concentrate on high schools, a vital part of that equation.

The Alliance’s brief examines publicly available information on President Bush’s and Senator Kerry’s plans (as of April 21, 2004) by topic areas, including reading and math; teachers and principals; college preparation; the No Child Left Behind Act; federal funding; and school environment and facilities. The candidates’ proposals to improve literacy, increase college readiness and access, improve teacher and principal quality, and encourage teachers to work in high-needs schools are among the analyzed plans. The Alliance will update the brief as new proposals are put forth.

The next president of the United States-regardless of party affiliation-has a historic role to play in the process of assuring that effective, targeted programs are available to help our nation’s secondary school students graduate from high school prepared for college and success in life. This year’s presidential candidates are beginning to address this important issue. However, transforming America’s high schools and increasing graduation rates must be a high priority for the next president and include substantial new efforts sufficient to meet the needs of millions of young adults currently at risk of failure.

Read the Alliance’s press release and access the complete report here.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.