This conversation on President Bush’s “bold new plan” for American education was conducted between Brian Morton, asking questions, and our co-editor Deborah Meier, who has gained nationwide praise as founder and director of the Central Park East public schools in New York City.—Eds.
B: The new education plan that President Bush unveiled this spring has three main features. The first involves what he calls greater choice: parents could choose to send their children to any schools they like, public or private, and federal money would follow the students to their schools. The second is that private industry has pledged to come up with $150 million to design 535 innovative new schools—one new school for each congressional district. The third involves standardized national testing: the country would draw up national standards in five subjects, and students would be tested in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades. These tests would be voluntary—but they might also be used for college and job applications....
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