Bush wants education law kept after he leaves

President George W. Bush urged President-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic-led Congress not to abandon the No Child Left Behind law, arguing that to do so would "weaken a chance for a child to succeed in America," reports the Associated Press. "Now is not the time to water down standards or to roll back accountability," Bush said, his message aimed at his successor and at lawmakers who want to overhaul Bush’s signature education law. The president marked the seventh anniversary of No Child Left Behind on Jan. 8 with remarks at General Philip Kearny School in Philadelphia. It was his final policy address as president. No Child Left Behind remains one of Bush’s top domestic achievements, and he considers it vital to his legacy. Approved with strong bipartisan support in 2001, the school accountability law still has support from key Democrats, but it has grown deeply unpopular, and Obama has pledged to revamp it. The law prods schools to improve test scores each year, so that every student can read and do math on grade level by the year 2014. Critics say the law’s annual reading and math tests have forced other subjects like music and art from the classroom and that schools were promised billions of dollars that never showed up. And they say the law is too punitive toward struggling schools; nearly 36 percent of schools failed to meet yearly progress goals in 2008, according to research…

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