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"Education must become not just a period in our lives but a way of life in the 21st Century."

- Al Gore

 The Gore Agenda: Revolutionizing American Education in the 21st Century

Al Gore will strengthen our families with a program of revolutionary change in education. He will build on and extend the aggressive efforts since 1993 to improve our schools through higher standards, extra help to students who need it the most, and equal access to higher education. But he will also go farther - much farther - in bringing change to our schools.

His new agenda for 21st century education includes:

Making pre-school available to every child
  • Grants to enable every state to develop and expand pre-school programs
  • Fundamentally changing the American high school

  • Smaller schools and "schools within schools"

  • Smaller classes - 18 students per teacher in the early grades and 20 students per teacher in the upper grades

  • Principals empowered, advised by teachers, to hire their staff (regardless of seniority) and to manage their budget
  • Improving teacher quality and elevating the teaching profession
  • 21st Century Teachers Corps to reward college students who choose to teach in schools that need their help

  • Rigorous tests of knowledge and teaching skills for all new teachers before they enter the classroom

  • Mentors and professional support for new teachers

  • Tough standards for licensing or tenure, with evaluations by teams of accomplished teachers and administrators

  • Rigorous but fair performance evaluations after the granting of a teaching license

  • Fast but fair procedures for identifying, helping, and when necessary removing low-performing teachers

  • Good teachers rewarded, with bonuses to master teachers, to teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and to teachers in schools that have shown improved student performance
  • Turning around failing schools
  • Required aggressive plans to turn around failing schools, with accountability for results and incentives for success

  • Reformed curricula that work for low-achieving students

  • More public school choice for parents

  • Expanded summer school for failing students

  • Intensified efforts to reduce Hispanic dropout rates

    Using technology to improve our educational productivity

  • Every classroom and library wired to the Information Superhighway

  • Enhanced teacher training in technology

  • New educational software for all schools

  • Carefully screened volunteer army of on-line tutors and mentors
  • Adopting a new focus on discipline, character, values, safety, and parental involvement
  • Zero tolerance for guns

  • Second chance schools where students with serious problems can get help
  • Increased commitment to after-school care

  • Codes of discipline and required meetings on the first day of school for parents, teachers and their students to sign this code

  • Civic and character education in every school

  • Family and Medical Leave Act extended to cover the first day of school and subsequent parent-teacher conferences

  • Savings plans and tax cuts to make college and job training more affordable
  • National Tuition Savings program tying together state tuition programs in more that 30 states with a goal of all states participating in a program that would allow parents to save for college tax free and use those savings in participating states

  • New 401-J accounts where employers help employees save tax free for lifelong learning for the employee and his or her spouse, or a child's college education
  • "Let us renew education to renew opportunity."

    Al Gore believes that strengthening our families begins with bringing revolutionary change in education. The new stresses on modern family life, the changing economy that puts a premium on education, and the growth of the largest generation of children in American history all demand we make the next decade America's education decade.

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