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Bush Begins Campaigning For Re-election - 2004-01-03


President Bush starts the new year campaigning on some of the domestic programs he hopes will help him win re-election. Mr. Bush says his education reforms have raised test scores in math and reading.

President Bush says the changes have put more children on the path to success in school and in life.

"We expect schools to do their job, and we're helping them to do their job. So, there's no excuse for failure. When we set a high standard, we are showing our belief in the capacities of every child,"

The two-year-old reforms require states to hold every public school accountable for student achievement. If test scores do not measure up, the plan allows parents to move their children to better-performing schools, and provides money for tutoring.

Critics say the plan relies too much on standardized tests and not enough on individual needs. There is not yet enough money to meet all demands for tutoring, and switching schools often depends on better schools having enough space to accept new students.

Education and health care are likely to be the domestic cornerstones of the president's push for re-election. In the coming week, he will discuss education and collect more campaign contributions in Missouri and Tennessee.

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