Goals 2000 and ESEA

Remarks at the Signing of the Goals 2000 Legislation

This speech draft contains President Clinton’s annotated remarks for the signing of the Goals 2000 legislation in March of 1994 in San Diego.

Goals 2000

In Spring of 1994, President Clinton signed the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. Goals 2000 was based on Governor Clinton’s educational reforms in Arkansas, Secretary of Education Riley’s gubernatorial efforts in South Carolina, and lessons from other state and local educational reforms. The Goals 2000 legislation codified the National Education Goals and offered grants to states that committed themselves to specific plans for systematic reform of K-12 education. Goals 2000 included testing of reading and mathematics skills to ensure such students met these standards.

The Clinton Administration listed achievements regarding Education Reform on the White House website. The now archived White House web page states that President Clinton’s enactment of Goals 2000 helped states establish standards of excellence for all children, implemented steps to meet these standards, and raised educational achievement. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, 49 states implemented standards in core subjects and the proportion of graduating high schools seniors completing a core curriculum rose to 55 percent. 

This video footage captures President Clinton delivering remarks on Goals 2000 Education Reform at the White House in May of 1994.

In addition to this video on Goals 2000, the Clinton Library also provides a series of archived videos concerning education reform. Topics here include the Improving America's Schools Act, the School to Opportunities Act, school reconstruction, the Safe Schools Initiative, and the After School Child Care Initiative.

ESEA Reathorization Proposal

This December 1998 memo examines the White House’s collaborative efforts when proposing to reauthorize the ESEA.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

In parallel with Goals 2000, President Clinton proposed the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). President Clinton signed the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) in October 1994. This Act reauthorized the ESEA and also modified Title I of the ESEA. In addition to providing funding for teacher training, IASA also provided for testing on the state level and raised the standards for the schools educating these students. IASA also provided educational opportunities for disadvantaged students.

The archived White House web page states that low-income students benefited from extra support to meet high expectations and challenging standards. This was credited to both increased funding for the Title I program and reforms proposed and signed into law by President Clinton in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).