He thought he had lost until Karl Rove called to say that Florida was too close to call. The closeness of the election led to the 36-day legal battle over Florida and its 25 electoral votes. Bush was eventually declared the winner when the Supreme Court stopped a court ordered recount in a controversial 5-4 decision on December 18, 2000.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 supported standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals could improve individual outcomes in education.
Fewer than nine months into office, Bush's leadership skills were tested like no other president before him. On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four U.S. jetliners, crashing one into rural Pennsylvania, another into the Pentagon building outside Washington, D.C., and two into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. The tragedy, which killed thousands and destroyed the World Trade Center, prompted Bush to announce a "War on Terrorism.