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Education a Major Campaign Issue

Education is one of the key policy issues for the 2004 election, with both President Bush and likely Democratic challenger John Kerry promising reform.

President Bush says his "No Child Left Behind Act," signed two years ago, has already shown positive results in improving student performance and closing the education gap between rich and poor children.

Mr. Bush says the act, which has undergone several revisions since its enactment, will raise teaching standards and monitor a student's achievement through testing.

Senator Kerry, who voted in favor of the act, says President Bush has failed to adequately fund the bill.

He says he would change the No Child Left Behind law to ensure schools do not focus too heavily on teaching for standardized tests. He has also promised to roll-back Mr. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to invest in domestic priorities, including education.

Democratic leaders, teacher's unions and other critics charge that the president's "No Child Left Behind" law is creating havoc in America's public schools by imposing tough new standards without providing schools the funding necessary to implement them.