GREENSBORO, N.C. -- President Bush renewed his efforts yesterday to win reauthorization of his signature education program when the new Congress begins work next year and said he would not yield on one of its most controversial components: the requirement that standardized tests periodically measure students' progress.
He spoke at a magnet school in Greensboro, presenting the academic progress of the school's students in recent years as evidence that the No Child Left Behind law was achieving its goals. The measure expires at the end of the 2007-2008 school year but can be extended automatically if no changes are made.
No Child Left Behind, which Bush signed into law in January 2002, has become the centerpiece of his domestic social policy.
Critics, particularly Democrats, have said that although the president speaks frequently about the law, he has not committed sufficient money to help pay for the requirements it imposes on schools.
The president spoke at Waldo C. Falkener Elementary School, which offers a primary-school version of the International Baccalaureate program.
Its student body is 98 percent nonwhite; 91 percent of the students receive free or reduced-payment lunches.
Over four years, Bush said, the percentage of third-grade students reading at grade level had gone from 46 percent to 76 percent.