Federal Education Policy and the States, 1945-2009
The George H.W. Bush Years: America 2000 Dies
The creation of school delivery or opportunity-to-learn standards was just one of many issues debated during the revisions, amendments, and discussion surrounding America 2000. As the House and Senate considered the bill through 1992, various portions were revised or eliminated. In the final House-Senate conference report, the private school choice option was eliminated, funding for national standards and assessments was limited, and support for New American Schools was submerged in a state-based program of federal funding for school reform and professional development. Shortly before the November election, the report came out of conference and was passed with strong bipartisan support in the House. Although there was similar support in the Senate, the report died because of procedural "earmarks" inserted by a couple of Republican senators. They held up final Senate action, awaiting signals from the White House as to whether the president wanted the legislation to pass or have the issues held until after the election. With strong urging by Secretary Alexander, the president let the bill die, gambling that he would have a second term to try once again with his initiatives. Four years into his presidency-and three years after expectations had been raised with the education summit-no substantial education legislation had been enacted.