"Let's give our children a future. Let us take away their guns and give them books. Let us overcome their despair and replace it with hope. Let us, by our example, teach them to obey the law, respect our neighbors, and cherish our values. Let us weave these sturdy threads into a new American community that can once more stand strong against the forces of despair and evil because everyone has a chance to walk into a better tomorrow."
-- President Clinton
1995 State of the Union
The Clinton Administration has made an unprecedented commitment to reforming the federal role in education and training. The President's lifelong learning agenda expands opportunities for American children and adults to improve their skills and maximize their potential.
The Clinton Record: A Lifelong Learning Agenda. The President announced at the beginning of his Presidency his commitment to a Lifelong Learning Agenda - from expansion and improvement of early childhood education to reform of adult education and training programs. Much of that agenda has been enacted over the past two years:
Head Start. Provides comprehensive services for disadvantaged children, ages three to five, and their families.
Goals 2000. Goals 2000 affirms the President's belief in the critical role of education in building America's future and the federal government's central role as a partner in that effort.
National Service. With passage of the National Service legislation, Americorps has 20,000 volunteers working in schools, hospitals, neighborhoods and parks. Reiterating his belief that National Service can change the way government works by enabling participants to further their education while helping to change communities, President Clinton is working to expand the program to 47,000 participants.
Direct Lending. With the passage of the Student Loan Reform Act, 104 schools and over 300,000 students are already participating in the program. This year more than 1,400 schools - representing 40% of the total number of loans and the maximum allowed under this year's authorization - have committed to enrolling. This program cuts bureaucracy and saves taxpayers and students billions of dollars, while allowing more borrowers flexible repayment arrangements -- including pay-as-you-earn plans through Individual Education Accounts.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Designed primarily to help disadvantaged children, this law focuses on improvements in teaching in more than 50,000 schools and has a direct impact on five million children in high poverty areas. By increasing school flexibility to use federal aid and supporting effective innovations, this law is a significant step in helping all students meet high academic standards.
School to Work. Broadens educational, career and economic opportunities for students not immediately bound for four-year colleges through local partnerships among businesses, schools, community organizations and state and local governments. By equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue work or post-secondary training, this law helps ensure that America will be capable of performing and prospering in a competitive global economy.
Technology and Training. To ensure that our nation's classrooms are not left behind in the technological and information revolution that is taking place, the Clinton Administration has initiated a "Technology Learning Challenge," which will challenge learning communities -- teachers, students, local businesses, telecommunications companies, curriculum and learning specialists -- to develop and deploy interactive learning curriculum content that will allow students to learn both at school and at home.