%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:JSA103-010902; AUDIO:234%)

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush said Wednesday his signature alone will not be enough to make the new federal education law a reality, and called on state and local officials to do their part.

``It is the job of the local folks to chart the path for excellence for every single child in America, and we trust them to do so,'' Bush told some 3,000 educators, students and state, local and federal officials in a speech near the White House.

On Tuesday, Bush signed into law a far-reaching education bill that will require annual reading and math tests for children in grades three through eight beginning in the 2005-06 school year. It requires schools to develop periodic ``report cards'' showing their standardized test scores compared with other area schools.

It mandates that schools raise all students to reading and math proficiency within 12 years. Schools also must close gaps in scores between wealthy and poor students and white and minority students. And the measure requires schools to ensure that within four years, all teachers are qualified to teach in their subject areas.

Some school administrators fear that accomplishing all the law's provisions will be burdensome and expensive.

Bush sternly told his audience Wednesday he expected them to carry out everything in the bill.

``We have given new tools of reform to teachers and principals, local and state officials, and parents,'' Bush said. ``Now we must finish the job. We have a great task to complete, and everyone has responsibilities to meet.''

The president said the education law provided ``unprecedented flexibility'' to local officials in spending federal education dollars.

``In return, we expect states to set standards of basic knowledge and to make steady progress toward meeting those standards,'' Bush said, citing the annual tests.

Education Secretary Rod Paige was meeting Wednesday with state officials in Washington to discuss the implementation. Bush was raising money for his brother Jeb's re-election as governor of Florida.