My second grade teacher, Mrs. Couser, spent countless hours helping me overcome my inability to read. Unlike today’s teachers, she wasn’t forced to teach to a test. Instead, she had freedom to focus on the individual needs of her students.
Sadly, well-intentioned but misguided federal policies such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top now force students to prepare for end-of-grade tests, instead of preparing for life.
What results have been achieved through increased federal spending, armies of bureaucrats, and one-size-fits-all education standards?
- One in five students drops out of high school.
- Only 36% of eight graders read at grade level, and only 35% are proficient in math.
- The United States ranks 20th and 27th in math and science . . . out of 34 countries measured.
Parents, teachers, and local leaders best understand the needs of local students, so the power to make education decisions must be returned to the state and local level.
This summer, I helped pass the Student Success Act (H.R. 5):
- Prohibits the Federal Government from coercing states into adopting Common Core or similar standards by withholding federal funds or waivers.
- Prohibits the Secretary of Education from creating additional burdens on states and local school districts, especially in the areas of standards and assessments.
- Eliminates 69 ineffective or duplicative federal education programs.
- Protects the autonomy of religious schools, private schools, and home schools.
- Increases opportunity for low-income students by allowing Title I funds to follow the student to the traditional public or charter school of their parents’ choice.
As we work to return education authority to the states, we must fully support quality teachers and ensure they are appropriately compensated for the important work they do. We must also urge teachers’ unions to end the illogical and counter-productive practice of preserving jobs for unqualified or unfit teachers. Our children, and our dedicated teachers, deserve better.
Not only did Mrs. Couser teach me to read, she taught me to love reading! Today’s teachers and students need the same freedom to focus on specific needs, not arbitrary goals set by a bureaucrat who has never even seen your local school.
More on Education
We all know strong students who want to go to college, get good-paying jobs and build flourishing, independent lives for themselves and their families.
On May 23, I joined House Republicans in passing a long-term solution for the Federal Stafford Loans program, giving these great students more certainty when paying for college. We passed the bill more than five weeks early, giving Senate Democrats plenty of time to act before interest rates doubled on July 1.
We all know strong students who want to go to college, get good-paying jobs, and build flourishing, independent lives for themselves and their families.
On May 23rd, I joined House Republicans in passing a long-term solution for the Federal Stafford Loans program, giving these great students more certainty when paying for college. We passed the bill more than 5 weeks early, giving Senate Democrats plenty of time to act before interest rates doubled on July 1st.
On July 2, Congressman Pittenger discussed student loan legislation on SiriusXM POTUS Morning Briefing.