a job. In school, students would learn academic content in the context of their occupational major. Health majors, for example, would learn something about the physics, biology, and chemistry of health care. They would also learn about the economics and politics of health care and might study how health affects the lives and stability of families.
All 50 states have received planning grants for the School-to-Work program. State implementation grants are being awarded on a competitive basis. Twenty-two states applied for implementation grants in 1994 and eight won. In 1995 another nineteen states won implementation grants. States are using different strategies. Some, such as Maine, focus more on the community college postsecondary system. Others, including Oregon, integrate academics and occupational programs to reform high schools for all students. What we have, in effect, is a large variety of different, rigorous, standards-based experiments going on around the country in the area of school-to-work education.
The third major Clinton legislative victory was the passage of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the cornerstone of the administration's K-12 reform initiative. Goals 2000 codifies into law the National Education Goals established in 1990 by President Bush and then head of the National Governors Association, Governor Clinton. More importantly, the Goals 2000 legislation creates a stimulus for states to initiate reforms that are focused on all students meeting challenging academic standards established by states and local education agencies—standards that set out in clear prose what all students are expected to be able to know and do in a subject (content standards, illustrated in Figure 2.2) and what level of performance they should be expected to achieve (performance standards).
The aims of Goals 2000 are 1) to encourage states to establish their own challenging standards for reform; 2) to assist states in developing support systems, such as better teacher training; and 3) to help ensure that the resources, flexibility, and authority necessary to bring reform to all students are pushed down to the local level, so that teachers, principals, and parents have the primary voice in how to achieve the high-quality teaching and learning necessary to help all children learn to the challenging standards.
Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, signed into law in October 1994, was the last major piece of the Clinton education agenda to be passed by the 103rd Congress. Called the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA) of 1994, the legislation restructures ESEA programs. In the past these programs supplemented the existing school system.