To enjoy long-term prosperity and security, we must provide world-class schools for all our young people.
Education must be our priority if we are to compete in the 21st Century global economy. If China and India educate only 10% of their kids well, they will educate more kids well than we have kids to educate at all. Our children must be afforded each and every opportunity to succeed. Education is the engine that will drive technological advancements in energy and health care. Tomorrow’s green technology will be born in today’s classrooms. The next great American invention that will change the world will be a direct result of creative, intelligent thinking.
It starts with teachers who foster this type of charismatic creativity. Rather than blaming our problems on teachers and stripping their rights to lobby for themselves, we should be empowering them with the best tools available; we should be training them in their proper fields so that they can best educate their students. Our teachers must be fully qualified and fairly compensated.
As a member of Congress, I will work to help states graduate more students fully prepared for success in a 21st Century world. We must also work diligently to ensure students who graduate from high school have the skills and tools to succeed throughout life, including training in math, science, and the liberal arts.
I believe there are several ways we can make immediate progress on all of our education goals:
- Ending the unfair and unproductive attacks on teachers.
- Increasing our investment in early learning programs.
- Helping states transform their most challenged schools to ensure every child has access to quality education.
- Developing shared educational standards that help provide all young people the lessons, skills and tools to succeed in an increasingly competitive and interconnected global economy.
- Identifying and developing effective measures of learning and academic performance to create high, and realistic, expectations and accountability for educating our children.
- Expanding programs, like Race to the Top, that allow states to opt in and compete for federal investment in innovative, transformative educational ideas.
- Refining No Child Left Behind to retain those aspects that are helpful and cut down on the tendency to teach only “to the tests.”
- Offering affordable pathways to technical, undergraduate, and graduate education, encompassing community colleges, colleges, and universities.