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pd17se01 Proclamation 7460--National Birmingham Pledge Week, 2001...


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    The President and the Prime Minister agreed that for fifty years, 
the friendship between the United States and Australia has advanced the 
cause of stability and security within the Asia-Pacific region and 
indeed throughout the world. The aspirations we have shared, for peace 
and prosperity for all, remain as firmly held as ever.
    President Bush and Prime Minister Howard solemnly reaffirmed the 
commitment of the United States and Australia to the alliance under the 
ANZUS Treaty. They pledged anew their intent to strive together to 
promote order and goodwill between nations and to ensure that the 
alliance continues to play its vital role in preserving peace throughout 
the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Note: The joint statement referred to ANZUS, the Security Treaty Between 
Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America. An original 
was not available for verification of the content of this joint 
statement.


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 1295-1296]
 
Pages 1291-1317
 
Week Ending Friday, September 14, 2001
 
Joint Statement Between the United States of America and Australia

September 10, 2001

    President George W. Bush and Prime Minister John Howard today 
reaffirmed the strength and vitality of the bilateral relationship 
between Australia and the United States, commemorating the 50th 
anniversary of the alliance between the two countries. The President and 
the Prime Minister expressed the conviction that the alliance has been a 
pillar of stability in the Asia-Pacific region and has made an essential 
contribution to global peace and security over the past half century. 
The Prime Minister welcomed the clear commitments expressed by the 
President to continued active U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific 
region. They agreed the U.S. presence in the region helped contribute to 
the stability that was essential to ensure economic growth and greater 
prosperity for all countries in the Asia Pacific.
    President Bush and Prime Minister Howard discussed a broad range of 
regional and global security issues. Both underscored the importance of 
Indonesia's successful democratic transition and expressed support for 
Indonesia's territorial integrity. Noting the positive steps President 
Megawati and her team have taken to promote policy reform and national 
unity, President Bush and Prime Minister Howard reaffirmed their support

[[Page 1296]]

for the new government's efforts to build a stable, united, democratic 
and prosperous Indonesia. The two leaders welcomed the peaceful election 
in East Timor and emphasized the importance of continued international 
support and assistance, including through the United Nations, to ensure 
a successful transition to a stable, viable and independent state.
    The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the economic 
transformation underway in China will have a major impact on the region 
and the world. The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the 
prospect of China's accession to the WTO and affirmed their desire to 
see China take up a constructive role as a full member of the 
international community. In this context, they reaffirmed the importance 
of China's observance of its non-proliferation undertakings and 
underlined their close interest in China's respect for human rights. The 
President and the Prime Minister agreed that Japan makes an important 
contribution to regional stability, emphasized the importance of Prime 
Minister Koizumi's reform initiatives, and expressed optimism that 
continued reform will produce significant benefits over time for the 
people of Japan and for the global economy. On the Korean Peninsula, 
President Bush and Prime Minister Howard reiterated their strong support 
for renewed North-South engagement. The Prime Minister welcomed the 
United States' offer of dialogue to North Korea following the 
Administration's policy review and encouraged North Korea to respond 
positively. The two leaders welcomed the growing opportunities for 
political, commercial and security cooperation with India.
    President Bush and Prime Minister Howard expressed shared concern 
about the threat to global stability posed by ballistic missile 
proliferation and weapons of mass destruction and increasingly capable 
ballistic missiles as a means of delivery. They agreed on the need for a 
comprehensive approach to counter these threats, including enhanced non-
proliferation and counter-proliferation measures as well as continued 
nuclear arms reductions. They also agreed that missile defense could 
play a role in strengthening deterrence and stability as part of this 
comprehensive approach. The Prime Minister looked forward to further 
consultation with the United States on these issues and welcomed the 
Administration's active dialogue on the issue with allies as well as 
Russia and China.
    The President and the Prime Minister resolved to work together 
closely to expand trade globally, regionally and bilaterally. They 
agreed that launching a new global trade round in Doha is a top trade 
priority for both nations. They emphasized that agriculture must be a 
core element of the next trade round in order to level the playing 
field. They confirmed their commitment to achieve open markets in the 
Asia-Pacific region, including using APEC's full potential more 
effectively. The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their 
commitment to enhance their already close economic relationship, 
including the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). 
They discussed the contribution an FTA could make to their shared global 
and regional trade objectives. They noted the strong trade and 
investment flows between the United States and Australia and the spur an 
agreement could give to further growth. They asked their trade ministers 
to report back to them before the end of the year on how to advance the 
proposal. The President noted the importance of consulting with Congress 
and other interested parties in deciding the Administration's position 
on the FTA.
    President Bush and Prime Minister Howard agreed that climate change 
poses a serious long-term challenge. The President and the Prime 
Minister recognized that climate change is a global issue requiring a 
global approach and expressed their commitment to develop an effective 
and science-based response.
    The President and the Prime Minister greatly enjoyed their 
discussions, which were characterized by unusual warmth and candor. They 
believe the meeting strengthened their personal partnership and the 
partnership between their two nations. The goodwill generated today will 
be valuable in moving forward on their common agendas.

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this joint statement.

[[Page 1297]]


<DOC>
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
 [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
                         

[Page 1297-1300]
 
Pages 1291-1317
 
Week Ending Friday, September 14, 2001
 
Remarks in a Leadership Forum in Jacksonville, Florida

September 10, 2001

    The President. It's about time he got it right, isn't it? [Laughter] 
Governor. [Laughter] Obviously, we were raised right, because Jeb's 
priority and my priority are the same; that is to make sure every child 
gets a good education in America.
    We understand--we understand--that an educated child is one that is 
much more likely to realize the great American experience. And it is so 
important that we get it right in America. And I'm proud of my brother. 
He's doing a really good job here in Florida, and I appreciate Jeb.
    And Jeb is right. I don't think education ought to be a partisan 
issue. I know reading is not a partisan issue. I mean, getting every 
child to read in America is an American issue, and it ought to be an 
American goal. And it is going to be for this administration.
    Jeb had the honor of introducing members of the State House and the 
State level that are going to make this happen. I traveled today with 
three members of the Florida delegation: the United States Senator, 
Senator Nelson, thank you for coming, sir. A Member of the House--
Stearns and Crenshaw are with us, as well. Thank you all for being here. 
That is Ander Crenshaw.
    And we had a good discussion coming down. I said, ``We're going to 
go to a school that's showing what can happen when people get their 
minds together and focus on a goal.'' And the goal of teaching every 
child to read is an incredibly important goal, and I want to 
congratulate the teachers and the parents who are insisting that no 
child--[applause].
    And I want to thank Diane for having us. Diane told me she just 
moved down from Virginia. It's a wonderful--to me, a wonderful sign of 
her dedication, that she would leave Virginia Tech and to come down and 
put to work her skills, right here on the frontlines of education, a 
principal. So thank you for being here.
    I picked a good man to be the Secretary of Education. I know the 
superintendent of schools here, for Duval County, is here. There he is; 
thank you, Super, for being here. Well, I picked a man who had been the 
superintendent in Houston, Texas. I didn't want somebody who knew the 
theories of education. I wanted somebody who knew the practical aspects 
of education, somebody who had been on the frontlines, somebody who 
shares with me the belief that every child can learn, who is willing to 
challenge what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations--the feeling 
that if you lower the bar, you're going to get lousy results, and that 
we all ought to raise the bar--and that's my friend from Houston, who is 
now the Secretary of Education, Rod Paige. Thanks for coming, Rod.
    Secretary Paige. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
    The President. I want to thank the boys and girls who are here. I 
like to--sometimes when I see elementary school students or, for that 
matter, middle school students and sometimes high school, so I ask the 
question, do you read more than you watch TV?
    Audience member. Yes.
    The President. That's good, the one that said, yes. Make sure you 
tell the truth. [Laughter] And that's an important question to ask, 
because it's so much easier to watch TV and not read. And yet, you learn 
so much more when you read. So all of us as parents have got to work 
hard to teach our children the importance of practicing reading and the 
importance of not watching TV--in all due respect to the camera folks 
back there--[laughter]--because reading is essential. And we've got to 
get it right as a nation. Now, lest I make the Governor feel 
uncomfortable, I'm absolutely against the federalization of public 
education. I believe that the best way to achieve excellence for every 
child is to pass power out of Washington and to trust the local folks.
    And I presume--I presume the good Governor is still doing what he 
said, which is to pass power out of Tallahassee to Jacksonville, because 
one size doesn't fit all, and it's important to empower people at the 
local level to have the--to give them the flexibility necessary to meet 
common goals.
    But the Federal Government can help, and it will help. In the bills 
that I've submitted that passed the House and the Senate, we've got a 
fantastic reading initiative started. First, there's the call for more 
money. And

[[Page 1298]]

we need to put some more resources behind education, and we have in the 
budget--about $900 million a year for reading programs which will help 
local districts develop diagnostic tools necessary to determine whether 
or not children need help.
    You see, one of the fundamental aspects of making sure a child 
learns to read is, first and foremost, to diagnose the issue. How do you 
know if you don't diagnose? How do you know if you don't have the tools 
necessary to say that this young first-grader needs a little extra help 
when it comes to phonics or when it comes to fluency or when it comes to 
comprehension?
    And so the monies will be available for that--the monies that need 
to be available, as well, for teacher training. One of the unfortunate 
aspects that we find in many States is that there are great teachers who 
have got wonderful hearts who don't know how to teach reading, that 
don't know the science of reading. And we've got some of the scientists 
here who understand reading and how it works, and we're going to hear 
from them here in a minute, if we can ever get the President to stop 
talking. [Laughter]
    One of my dreams is to make sure that schools understand and have 
the resources available for schools within schools. My attitude is, if 
it takes teaching reading all day long, do it and get it right before we 
move children through the system. We can't continue to shuffle them 
through.
    The other thing we've done is, we want to provide help for local 
districts. And I've got two things I want to talk about. First, we've 
got a parent guide that Rod's Department is going to put out. It's 
called ``Put Reading First,'' which is a way for parents to take a look, 
to determine whether or not the school districts around your city are 
doing what the scientists tell us need to be done. It's kind of a go-by, 
to make sure that what works is being instituted at the local level. 
There is nothing better, it seems like to me, than to arm parents and 
concerned citizens with the facts so they can ask the relevant questions 
to the school officials.
    And secondly, we're going to have what we call reading leadership 
academies around the country. And there is a lot of new data when it 
comes to what works. There is a lot of data on curriculum development, 
for example. There are a lot of fads, too, that seem to be working their 
way through the system.
    And it seems like, to me, a useful function of the Federal 
Government is to take the good folks out at the NIH, for example, that 
have studied the science of reading and send them around the country to 
meet with local citizens and school board members and superintendents to 
share the data, so that people know precisely what is working and what's 
not working, so that the good folks at the local level can cut through 
all the hot air and the finger pointing and the politics of reading and 
find out what works and then help implement it at the local level. 
Because what we find is, a good curriculum based upon the science of 
reading is necessary to make sure no child gets left behind. And that 
is, after all, the goal and the agenda.
    Now, I believe, and I know Rod believes and brother Jeb believe, and 
I bet you Diane believes, every child can learn. You start with the 
premise that every child can learn to read, not just a handful, not just 
some, not just a few from a demographic group, but everybody. And that 
ought to be the goal of this country. And it starts with having a 
President set an ambitious goal, empowering local people to follow that 
goal, providing the resources necessary and also the sound science and 
the reform to make it work.
    I'm proud of the accountability system Florida has developed. You 
see, this country of ours needs to start asking the question, ``What do 
you know?'' A lot of times when there is no accountability, we guess. We 
wonder out loud, ``Oh, gosh, I wonder if he or she is learning to 
read,'' which means that the question ultimately asked in our system 
like that is, ``How old are you? Because if you're 10, we're supposed to 
put you here, and if you're 12, we're going to move you here.''
    And that has got to change. We need to start asking early, before it 
is too late, ``What do you know?'' And that means accountability 
systems. And not only do we need to know whether or not children can 
read, but if not, we need to correct early. And that's the goal, and 
that's the drive. And I will promise you, America will be a much better 
place when we teach--not if but when we

[[Page 1299]]

teach every child in this great country to read.
    Thank you for having me, Diane. Brother Jeb, thanks very much. Thank 
you all.

[At this point, the program continued.]

    The President. Let me say something about him before he starts--go 
Seminoles! [Laughter] That's overt pandering.
    Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida. Be careful, George.
    The President. Just trying to make him feel better.
    He got very much involved--we got involved with the Reading 
Initiative in Texas when I was the Governor, and you know, there's just 
so much debate about curriculum, and it gets pretty--people begin to get 
pretty prejudiced about the case. And so we decided to bring in some 
people that really knew what they were doing. Dr. Torgesen is one of 
them that came down to help a friend named Reid Lyons.
    Reid is out of the National Institutes of Health. These are folks--
when you heard me talking about the science of reading, the scientists 

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