Exhibit Description

This exhibit contains digitized items that highlight the Administration’s commitment to Education Reform through increasing investments and raising standards. This exhibit focuses on President Clinton’s efforts to reform education in the State of Arkansas, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This exhibit provides access to more than 1,000 digitized files related to Education Reform.

Improving education was a cornerstone of the Clinton Administration. President Clinton helped raise expectations for all students and invested in proven strategies to elevate educational performance. The Clinton Administration supported states in developing rigorous standards, systems of assessment, and accountability.  While President Clinton invested more in schools, he also demanded more from these schools. This led to remarkable progress in key areas such as implementing standards and accountability, improving student performance, closing the achievement gap, expanding access to technology, and making higher education more affordable.

A World Class Education for Every Child

Curriculum Connections

Arkansas Department of Education Standards

Activity Suggestions

Student should review the Education Reform exhibit before completing any of the following assignments. Students may work in groups or individually.

Option One

During Clinton’s presidency, schools were awarded National Blue Ribbon (NBR) rankings. Students should examine the Blue Ribbon School Application to determine the eligibility criteria for awarding NBR. What aspects of their school could qualify for NBR? What needs improving? Students should work together in groups to figure out how to implement changes to improve their school.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

  • Organize an assembly or school open house where students can share their proposals with other classes/grades, parents, and members of the general public to implement changes.

Option Two

President Clinton made changes to education in Arkansas as governor and across the nation as president. Have students look at some of these changes on the “Achievements in Arkansas Education Reform” page and “Goals 2000” page. After considering what President Clinton accomplished, have students brainstorm possible changes to current education policies and create their own “bill” to improve education.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

  • Students can submit their “bills” to their representative to propose changes to their state education system.