American Geological Institute
Government Affairs Program
Update on Legislation to Repeal Goals 2000 and the National Skill Standards Act of 1994 (12-2-98)
Most Recent Action:
On November 9, 1997, Representative Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced H.R.2992 -- the "Parents and Teachers Know Best Act of 1997" -- that would repeal Goals 2000 and the National Skill Standards Act of 1994. The bill would distribute the money appropriated for these programs to local education agencies to be used for programs on technology, educational materials, reform, improved thinking skills, literacy programs, gifted and talented programs, and school improvement programs.
In his introductory remarks, Graham refuted the Administration's proposal for national testing and the trend toward more federal involvement in education. He stated that his legislation "begins an effort to toll back the rising ride of nationalization and federalization." He continued by explaining that "Goals 2000 has done little, if anything, to improve the performance of America's students in the classroom." Although the bill gained 62 cosponsors, it did not move out of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
The National Skill Standards Act was enacted to improve workforce skills and Goals 2000 supports state and local efforts to develop and implement academic standards and improve K-12 teaching and learning. Goals 2000 sets into law several national goals for the year 2000:
- SCHOOL READINESS -- All children in America will start school ready to learn.
- SCHOOL COMPLETION -- The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
- STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND CITIZENSHIP -- All students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography, and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our nation's modern economy.
- MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE -- United States students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
- ADULT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING -- Every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
- SAFE, DISCIPLINED, AND ALCOHOL- AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS -- Every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
- TEACHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT -- The nation's teaching force will have access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare all American students for the next century.
- PARENTAL PARTICIPATION -- Every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Contributed by Kasey Shewey White, AGI Government Affairs.
Last updated December 2, 1998