The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will continue with the consideration of H.R. 1804. The Senate continued with the consideration of the bill. This statement expresses my views and those of Senator Kassebaum on the National Skills Standards Board. The managers' amendments to the Goals 2000 legislation included modifications to provisions in title V, the National Skills Standards Act. The following is an explanation by the managers of those provisions: Under this amendment, where there are existing standards specific to the particular occupation and industry for which proposed standards are being endorsed, it is intended that the proposed standard meet or exceed those existing standards. However, it is important to note, that it is intended that the Board will primarily develop standards for broad clusters of occupations. These standards will be sufficiently general in nature to allow industries and employers to adapt and refine the standards to meet their particular needs. Therefore, for many of these occupational clusters, there may not be any existing standards that are applicable. In other cases, there may only be sections of existing standards that would be applicable. Mr. President, I am pleased to join so many of my colleagues today in supporting S. 1150, the Goals 2000 Educate America Act. This bill has been developed in a bipartisan manner by distinguished Senators on both sides of the aisle who care very deeply about the quality of education in our Nation. And the result of that hard work and cooperation is an eminently reasonable bill that makes the Federal Government a better partner with States and localities in improving public education in this country, while allowing the most important decisions on the direction of educational reform to remain where they should be -- right with our States and our communities. Mr. President, during the time that I was privileged to serve the people of Virginia as Governor, I made education a top priority. By making many tough choices, we were able to put a billion dollars in new money into public education. We raised teacher salaries and toughened standards, created the first year-round Governor's Schools for the Gifted and the Commonwealth's first electronic classroom. Our students responded, Mr. President, with test results which surpassed the national average in every category for the first time ever. I recall, as Governor, testifying before congressional committees, and asking, not for more Federal dollars, but for freedom from more Federal mandates. This bill is not another Federal mandate, Mr. President. Rather, it is a voluntary program which provides flexible incentives to interested States to work to improve their public schools. Some of my constituents expressed concern to me that, to qualify for the Goals 2000 funding, States must undertake fundamental restructuring. While I believe we need to improve the status quo in many ways. I did not believe that the term fundamental restructuring, which was included in section 306(a) of the committee-passed version of S. 1150, accurately reflected the reasonable State and local flexibility inherent in the plan's approval criteria. For that reason, I asked the chairman of the Labor Committee, Senator Kennedy, if he would simply eliminate the words fundamental restructuring in portraying the State improvement plan in that section of the bill. Senator Kennedy kindly deleted these words in the managers' amendment offered during floor consideration of S. 1150, and I appreciate his willingness to work with us in addressing a concern expressed to me by some Virginians very interested in this legislation. Mr. President, I am supporting S. 1150 because it gives our States an additional tool in crafting their own State and local reform efforts. With this new funding States can, if they choose, work to establish tough academic standards, create a system of assessments to put real accountability into our schools, and expand efforts to better train teachers and give them the tools they need to teach our kids. I support all of these important goals. As a Nation, Mr. President, we can make no better investment in our future than to make an honest investment in our children's education. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting S. 1150. Mr. President, today the Senate approved the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. Regrettably, I was not here earlier in the day to vote on many of the remaining amendments to Goal 2000. As some of you may know, I was at home in Rhode Island attending the funeral of a young police officer, Steven Shaw, who was slain in the line of duty. Goals 2000 is a very important step toward achieving the improvements in education that our Nation's children deserve and that we have been discussing for a decade. Since the issuance nearly 10 years ago of the special report, "A Nation at Risk," our focus has been on what is wrong with education. This bill encourages States, local education agencies, and individual schools to look at what is right in education and to use that as a model for improvement and reform. To help in encouraging this practice, the National Education Standards and Improvement Council will develop national opportunity-to- learn standards, content standards, and student performance standards and assessments. This does not mean that the Federal Government will dictate to schools in Providence and Cranston, or anywhere else in Rhode Island or the Nation, what goes on in the classroom. Rather, the Council will develop guidelines that States receiving grants through this legislation should consider in the development of education reform plans. In other words, the Council is charged with developing standards to stimulate improvement at the local school level. After all, it is the principals, administrators, teachers, and parents who know best about the strengths and weaknesses of their own schools. This bill takes a bold and positive approach by recognizing that every child has the ability to learn and by taking steps to assure that the tools are available to enable all children to reach their full potential. Setting high standards for teaching and learning and making sure that students have mastered the material presented to them is long overdue. An effort was made to divert funds authorized in this legislation for a private school choice demonstration program. Supporters of private school choice often suggest that this will encourage competition between public and private schools. Presumably competition should occur on a level playing field, but the playing field between public and private schools is far from level. Private schools can refuse to accept a child with disabilities. They can refuse to accept a child who may pose disciplinary problems. They do not have to take a child whose principal language is one other than English. In the public schools in Providence, there are children from families who speak one of 82 different languages at home! Private schools are able to pick and choose the children they will accept. We don't need to fund a demonstration program to know what the results of such a program would be. The results would show that the public school children who were sent to the private schools did better than the average public school child. Why would it show that? Because the children selected from the public schools would be the high achievers, the children without disciplinary problems, the children without learning disabilities. They would be the children from homes whose principal language is English. They also would be the children from motivating families with parents who play an active role in their children's education. The students who pose the greatest challenges to our public school system would not be affected because the private schools would reject them. The final result would be that the private schools would skim the high achievers from the public schools, and the public schools would be left with all the challenges. I am very pleased that the committee included in the bill that was brought to the floor a measure I strongly supported: a seventh goal for increased parental participation. This is a provision that was endorsed by both the national and the Rhode Island PTA. It is clear to me that without parental involvement in education, there will be no real reforms and improvements. This goal calls upon parents to become partners with their children's schools. I believe that parents must play an integral role in the education of their children. Experience has taught us that children whose parents are actively involved in the educational process simply do better in school than children whose parents or families are disengaged. This bill includes other important amendments related to parental involvement that I cosponsored: the Parents as Teachers Program [PAT] and the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters [HIPPY]. Both of these programs operate successfully in Rhode Island and across the Nation. Their purpose is to ensure that all children start school on the right foot. For many of us, having our children's eyes and ears tested is as natural as reading a bedtime story to them. Unfortunately, many new parents are unaware of, or unable to provide, proper health screening for their very young children -- just as they are not familiar with the benefit, and pleasure, of reading to their very young children. The PAT program enables eligible parents of newborns to 3-year-olds to receive instruction and assistance in their own homes on the most beneficial ways of encouraging children to reach their full potential. HIPPY offers similar instructional assistance to children ages 3 to 5. The first goals of Goals 2000 is, "All children will begin school ready to learn." These two important programs, with a proven track record of success, will help us to achieve that goal. Many experts agree that the foundation for learning that is laid in early childhood can be the most critical element in an individual's future success. I want to take a moment to focus on a particularly important challenge that -- unfortunately -- our schools face today. The role of our schools has changed drastically in the past three decades, and schools have taken on extraordinary new burdens. Today we are seeing youngsters with learning disabilities; youngsters who don't get enough to eat; youngsters born with a drug or fetal alcohol problem; youngsters from totally shattered families. As a society we expect that our schools will take in these children and help make them whole. That is quite a task, and it means that educating these children is that much more difficult. Yet in the face of these increasing challenges, we now have an element that makes our work even more difficult: and that element is guns. There are 72 million handguns in this country, and their number is increasing at the staggering rate of 2 million per year. The sheer number of these guns is impacting heavily on our schools, for if these guns are in general circulation, there is no doubt that they will end up in our schools as well. Children of all ages, in every State across the Nation, have access to guns. Just last November, a joint study by Newsweek magazine/ Children's Defense Fund found that 31 percent of the youngsters surveyed knew where to go to get a handgun if they wanted one. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 4 percent of high school students carry a handgun at least once a month; with 16.7 million high school students, that percentage translates into a whopping 666,000 teens who are toting guns. If handguns are being carried regularly by children, you can be sure that they are being carried into our Nation's schools. An estimated 270,000 boys have brought a gun to school at least once, and 135,000 boys are believed to bring a gun to school every day! The presence of these guns creates a terrible ripple effect: a child sees another student carrying a handgun, and decides to carry his or her own gun just to be safe. Then that child is seen by another child, and so on, and so on. When I was Governor in my State, the worst one might hear of at the schools was a fistfight. A gun incident, or shooting, was unheard of. My State is not a major urban area. Yet this year we have seen a dozen gun incidents in our schools. Just recently, a 16-year-old Mt. Pleasant High School student told police that another student had threatened him in a school corridor with a small pistol. Guns in our schools is not a problem confined solely to New York City or Detroit. It occurs across the country. Just 2 weeks ago, in Columbia, SC, a boy was shot four times at his high school. Last November, in Bellevue, IL, a seventh-grade boy brought a gun to school. In May, in Princeton, WV, a teenage boy walked into his biology class, and, using a gun smuggled into school in his gym bag, took the class hostage. At a high school in Irving, TX, a 17-year-old boy walked up to another student and shot him in the neck; the reason was a fight over a girlfriend. In St. Louis, a teenage girl, upset after her boyfriend broke up with her, shot him in the head and killed him at school last March. One year ago, in Grayson, a 17-year-old brought a small handgun to school and killed a teacher and a janitor. This is a handful -- a mere handful -- of shootings that occur daily in this country; few States are exempt. What is the only route for school administrators to take? To ensure the safety of all who are in the school, administrators are forced to divert scarce funds from books to $4,000 metal detectors. Some schools are beginning to resemble armed camps. But more and more school districts are using such equipment: In July of 1992, 25 percent of the 45 largest school districts were using metal detectors; today, 69 percent are using them. The presence of guns in schools diminishes the work of educators across the country. For how can any child learn in an environment of fear? We stand no chance of improving our educational system unless we first ensure that our heavily-burdened schools are free of guns and the violence that results. I am pleased, therefore, that Goal Six of the legislation before us reads as follows: I successfully offered an amendment to this bill that amends Goal Six to include the word "firearms." Goal Six now will read "every school in the United States will be free of drugs, firearms, and violence." This amendment is just a one-word change. But I believe that it behooves us to be as firm as possible: The presence of guns -- highly effective, dangerous, and lethal weapons -- in our schools is simply intolerable. We must allow our children to learn in peace. I hope my amendment states the intention of our Government to do so, as clearly as possible. Another key amendment dealing with guns in our schools was adopted during floor debate, and as a cosponsor of that amendment, I believe it will make a difference in combating school violence. The Safe Schools amendment authorizes Federal grants to school districts to fight violence in their schools. The money may be used for planning strategies to prevent violence, conducting safety reviews, developing violence prevention activities, providing counseling for victims of violence, and even purchasing metal detectors and other security equipment. This is an important step toward ensuring our schools are safe. In sum, Mr. President, the Goals 2000 legislation is right in line with reform efforts that are underway in Rhode Island and many other States. Passage of this legislation brings us one step closer to forging a new and constructive partnership between every school, school district, State, and the Federal Government. It is through this partnership that our children will receive the world class education they deserve. Mr. President, 10 years ago, we were told that America was a Nation at risk. We were told that if a foreign power had imposed such an educational system on the United States, we might very well consider it an act of war. That report was our wake-up call. Or was it? What has happened since then? There have been more reports and more studies and more stories on how desperate our public education system is. Yet, there has been very little action at the Federal level. Granted, some the doomsaying rhetoric has been overblown. But, every one who has a child in school -- and every child in school -- knows that we can do better. We can demand more of our parents, our teachers, and especially our students. We can work to see that all students start school ready to learn; that the high school graduation rate is increased to at least 90 percent; that all students meet the highest standards in English, math, science, civics, history, art, and geography; that American students rank No. 1 in the world in math and science achievement; that we eradicate illiteracy; that all schools are free of violence and drugs; and that all parents are involved in the education of their children. These, Mr. President, are the national education goals established at the education summit in 1989 by President Bush and the Nation's Governors, led by then-Governor Clinton. Today, those goals are before us in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. I am pleased to support this legislation. Perhaps we in Congress are finally ready to foster reform of our Nation's public school systems. Goals 2000 establishes national goals and standards to which every American school and every American student can strive. For if we are to improve our educational system, national costs must be established and the highest standards set. Our young people must be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to get good jobs and to help American industry compete effectively in the global marketplace. National goals and standards -- not imposed on the States, but established as measurements by which all States can gauge their achievement -- are essential to the reform effort. What is also essential -- and what is also provided for under this bill -- is Federal support for local reform plans. My State of Delaware recently launched a statewide comprehensive educational reform effort. Under the outstanding leadership of State Superintendent Pat Forgione and State Board President Paul Fine, "New Directories for Education in Delaware" is ready to be implemented. The State has committed funding, and each of the 19 school districts have committed their own resources toward ensuring that the public schools in Delaware meet the highest standards. Indeed, the Delaware plan was developed with the national education goals in mind. But, the money the State and the districts have pledged is simply not enough. The task is just too daunting. The State and the local schools need the Federal Government's help. The local schools of Delaware need Federal financial assistance with few strings attached to allow them to innovate -- to adopt school reforms tailored to the needs of the local communities. Experience has proven that decisions on education policies are most responsive and efficient when made by local communities. And, that's what the Goals 2000 bill does. Reform -- fundamental reform -- will occur where it should -- at the local level. Indeed, 85 percent of the State grants provided under this bill must be passed on to local schools with few strings attached. Each school -- whether urban or rural, big or small -- will in turn be able to adopt those reforms that will best meet the needs of the students at that school. Furthermore, with the regulatory flexibility provisions of the legislation -- as well as with Senator Hatfield's flexibility amendment that I supported -- States and local schools will have an even greater opportunity to provide a top-quality education as best as they see fit. All the Federal Government is demanding is that States, schools, and students make real and measurable progress toward high educational achievement. It sounds so simple, so basic, and such a common sense approach to the Federal Government's role in education reform. Yet, the misinformation about this bill abounds. So, let me take just a moment to debunk the myths -- and reiterate the facts. Goals 2000 does not establish a national curriculum. Rather, it establishes national goals outlining where we as a Nation should go and voluntary standards to measure how successful we are in getting there. Goals 2000 is not a one-size-fits-all education reform plan mandated from Washington. Rather, it allows each school to make the reform decisions. And, Goals 2000 does not promote, endorse, encourage, or establish a system of so-called Outcomes Based Education. Rather, this bill seeks to raise the standards of all schools and all students -- not dumb them down. Mr. President, 10 years ago, the Nation was told our public school system was in need of repair. Two years ago, we debated education reform legislation very similar to that before us today -- only to have the conference report killed because of a Republican filibuster in the waning days of the 1992 session. Because of these delays, we have lost precious time. Meanwhile, too many of America's children have continued to move through a public school system that desperately needs improvement. Let's not lose any more time -- or any more of our children. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. I am a cosponsor of this legislation. Mr. President, this legislation codifies the existing six education goals that President Bush and the Nation's Governors agreed to in 1990. It also adds a seventh goal calling for increased parental involvement in education. I strongly support the addition of this goal. Children must receive encouragement at home as well as at school. Mr. President, this legislation also establishes a National Education Goals Panel that will give us a bipartisan reporting on what type of progress we are making towards achieving the seven national education goals. It will also review voluntary national content standards, voluntary student performance standards and voluntary opportunity to learn standards. These voluntary standards will challenge our schools, teachers, students and parents to strive for tangible goals that will ultimately improve our elementary and secondary educational system. This bill also includes a grant program for State and local school districts to develop innovative, "break and mold" schools. These grants may go to States and school districts for innovative programs like public school choice, public charter schools, magnet schools, curriculum improvement and teacher training. These grants will help stimulate more innovation in our Nation's schools. Mr. President, we need to begin a national crusade to improve our schools. While the Federal Government only funds about seven percent of all education expenditures, it can help serve as a catalyst to spur educational reform in our Nation's schools. Improving the performance of our schools and students is critical to our Nation's ability to compete with other countries like Germany and Japan. This bill represents a good start in this direction. Mr. President, this bill is supported by a broad range of organizations including the National Education Association, the PTA, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the College Board. Mr. President, this bill also includes an amendment I offered entitled Pro-Kids. Pro-Kids will make all schools smokefree along with all other Federally funded children's programs. I am hopeful that the conferees will retain this amendment and prevent our Nation's children from breathing secondhand smoke -- a substance that EPA has determined is a group A carcinogen responsible for 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year and thousands of childhood illnesses. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. Mr. President, I rise to comment briefly on what I know is a growing level of concern in this body -- and in the Nation as a whole -- about violence in schools. In particular, I was pleased to support the amendment offered by Senator Dodd incorporating into this legislation, S. 1125, the Safe Schools Act of 1993. I do so with the understanding that this is an interim measure designed to authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants to school districts for violence prevention programs during the next 2 years. In particular, it will allow the Secretary to use up to $20 million, which has already been appropriated for the current fiscal year, for these purposes. This interim measure will also give Congress the time it needs to consider the administration's proposal to add violence reduction to the mission of the Drug Free Schools Program which is being reauthorized as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. That reauthorization will take place later this year. Mr. President, I supported Senator Dodd's amendment because I believe all levels of government must respond to the growing incidence of weapons possession and violence in our Nation's schools. A recent national survey found that nearly 20 percent of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders had been threatened with a weapon at school and nearly 10 percent had been injured. One out of every five high school students regularly carries some type of weapon. And many of these weapons are carried to school. Mr. President, it is clear from this and other studies that disputes among young people that traditionally had been settled with words are now being settled with fists. And disputes that traditionally were settled with fists have now become knife or gun fights that too often end in life-threatening injuries or even death. Overall, nearly 3 million thefts and violent crimes occur on or near school campuses every year, totaling almost 16,000 incidents every school day. And 12 percent of violent crimes in schools involve weapons; with nearly 500,000 teens being victimized annually by a violent crime occurring at or near school. Minnesota -- despite its peaceful tradition and strong record in education -- is no exception to this national trend. Statistics on weapons-related incidents are too infrequently kept by schools and districts who fear negative publicity and even increased fear among parents and students. But to its credit the St. Paul School District did recently complete a survey to help document the level of gun and other weapons offenses in its schools. That survey found that, in the 1992-93 school year, the St. Paul schools had 58 dangerous weapons violations, including 36 that involved knives, 8 with pellet or BB guns, 9 with hand guns, and 5 others. Students ages 12 to 17 were involved in these incidents, which resulted in police notification, suspension, and/or expulsions. There is no question that the growing level of crime and violence in schools is a detriment to both teaching and learning. Both students and teachers report an increased preoccupation with personal safety concerns that get in the way of their studies and work. That is one reason that President Bush and the Nation's Governors included drug and violence prevention as one of the national education goals, goals that are being placed in law in the legislation we are now about to approve. We simply cannot expect students to learn -- or teachers to teach -- if they come to school every day in fear of their personal safety. Having made that point, I want to caution all of us not to count on this amendment -- and the limited Federal funding it will authorize -- to solve all the problems related to guns and violence in our Nation's schools. Typically, we are using a single, poorly funded categorical program -- aimed at schools -- to address a complex, community-level problem. The use of guns and other violent behavior by young people most often reflects deeper problems, including problems at home. For example, a recent survey by Minnesota's Johnson Institute found that junior and senior high school students who experience alcohol and other drug use problems are: Twice as likely to instigate physical fights and have trouble concentrating; Three times as likely as to be truant from school; and Four times more likely to commit vandalism. These and other youth survey results help make the case for the administration's proposal to combine violence and drug/alcohol prevention programs as we reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act later this year. Another survey of Minnesota young people found strong links between students behavior and their own home environments. The most recent Minnesota student survey, done by the Minnesota Department of Education, found strong correlation between abusive behavior at home and alcohol and other drug abuse. The survey is conducted of Minnesota adolescents in grades 6, 9, and 12. These and other surveys document the need to approach growing violence and other behavior issues involving young people on a community-wide basis, not just focusing on schools. Typically, however, when society spots new issues or problems involving its younger citizens, it adds responsibility for dealing with those problems to already overburdened teachers and others in schools. I believe it is time for the larger community to take more responsibility for these issues -- beginning with parents, but also involving local governments, nonprofit agencies, employers, and others. Without that kind of combined effort, we will not have either the resources or the capabilities to deal with violence and other behavior problems facing young people in a truly effective manner. One good example of how that can be done is the use that Minnesota is making of the Governor's discretionary grant it receives under the Drug Free Schools Program. For the past several years, Minnesota has made both planning and implementation grants to several dozen colocation projects which combine access to a number of different community services in or near schools. I have visited with individuals involved in a number of these projects and have found them to include broad community support and involvement. And, although it is too early to see definitive results, there are indications that this kind of pooling and colocating of resources can both spread scarce resources further and improve access to needed services by both young people and their families. I am pleased, Mr. President, that the amendment offered by Senator Dodd requires collaboration among a variety of education, social services, and law enforcement agencies in each community. And, as we make this Federal contribution to solving a much larger community need permanent, I would hope we will learn from the experiences of States like Minnesota that are promoting broad community support and responsibility. One of the lessons learned from States like Minnesota is that the solution to problems of violence and disruption in schools must be designed by each school and each local community to fit its unique circumstances. In some cases, those problems may require tough solutions that involve law enforcement agencies and tools like metal detectors and other measures designed to remove weapons and individuals from schools who can only be regarded as violence-prone criminals. In other cases, preventive measures are more appropriate. And beginning such measures at a young age -- in elementary, middle, and junior high schools -- can be a very good place to start. One example of this type of approach to preventing violence is a Peer Mediation Program which is being used successfully in a number of schools in Minnesota, including Lyndale Elementary and Anthony Junior High Schools in Minneapolis. In all, some 45 schools in Minneapolis are currently developing peer mediation programs as part of the Minneapolis School District's efforts to make conflict resolution and peacemaking an integral part of teaching and learning. Because of the exciting potential that peer mediation programs hold, Mr. President, I would ask that a recent article in the Southwest (Minneapolis) Journal describing its effects at Lyndale and Anthony Schools be printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks. Finally, Mr. President, I want to pay special tribute to our distinguished colleague from Connecticut for his leadership in addressing the growing concerns that Americans have about violence and disruption in our schools. The Goals 2000 proposal is a better bill because of his insistence that we include his safe schools amendment. And I look forward to working closely with him, with other Members of this body, and with my constituents in Minnesota as we enact this and other related legislation in the coming year. I yield the floor.