On eve of 1992 campaign, Bush 41 pitches education plan in televised classroom speech

Posted Sep 3, 2009, 11:26 AM PT by Jed Lewison • First broadcast: Oct 1, 1991

On October 1, 1991, George H. W. Bush pitches his education plan in a speech broadcast to school classrooms nationwide:

Get Adobe Flash player

Bush’s speech was delivered on the eve of his presidential re-election campaign, and although it did contain some inspirational rhetoric, significant portions of it were focused promoting his own education plan.

A conspiracy theorist might even claim Bush’s goal was to influence parents by "indoctrinating" their children.

:::

Video transcript:

Maybe you saw today’s headline, I don’t know if you had a chance to look at it, about the release of the new National Goals Report. Get the camera to come in and take a look at this for a moment. In math, for instance, this national report card shows that, nationwide, five of six eighth graders don’t know the math they need to move up to the ninth grade.

In spite of troubling statistics like this one, I don’t see this report, however, as just bad news.

What we don’t hear enough about are the success stories. You know, all over America, thousands of schools do succeed, even against tough odds, even against all odds. Kids from all over the District of Columbia petition to get into Alice Deal School here because parents know this school works.

We made a start nationally now by setting six National Education Goals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. By the year 2000, at least 9 in every 10 students should graduate from high school. We should be first in the world in math and science. We need to regularly test student’s abilities. Every American child should start school ready to learn; every American adult should be literate; and every American school should be safe and drug-free. Reaching those goals is the aim of a strategy that we call America 2000