Proposals set forth by the forty-first president have influenced decades of K–12 education policy.
“I want to be the education president. I want to lead a renaissance of quality in our schools.”
George H.W. Bush made that declaration in January 1988, at a high school in Manchester, New Hampshire.
As Americans reflect on his legacy following his death, one thing is clear: This was a promise kept.
Bush’s America 2000:An Education Strategy, unveiled at the White House on April 18, 1991, contained nearly all the key ingredients for what became the mainline, bipartisan K–12 reform legislative agenda for governors and succeeding presidents.
His school choice legislative proposal for a GI Bill for Kids, while controversial and never enacted, was also far-sighted and inspired many of today’s state school choice programs.
Together, the ideas found in these proposals formed a strategy and framework for K–12 policy discussions since then.
I was privileged—and honored—to have a front seat during much of this policy work, especially America 2000 and the GI Bill for Kids. I led a small group working with then-U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander to develop the framework, strategy, and school choice proposal.
A nation at...