The American Dream for every parent is the hope of a better future for their children. That dream begins with access to a better education. Despite efforts from local teachers, parents, and communities to improve our schools, the growing federal footprint over our nation’s public education system continues to produce lack-luster results. Across the nation, Latino families are forced to send their children to under-performing schools, making it difficult for their children to graduate and earn a diploma. Educating our children is vital to ensuring our country’s continued growth, a strong labor force and success in tomorrow’s marketplace.
The system is in need of meaningful reform to provide parents with a choice and students with the opportunity to succeed. Real reform will find ways to allow the public system, non-profit and for-profit models to participate and play a role in providing a quality education for our nation’s children. School choice empowers families and provides children with access to a better education, breaking the chains of systemic under-performance. Power should also be returned to the state and local level, allowing those closest to the community to make the right and necessary choices to improve our schools. In the area of higher education, federal programs aimed at supporting and encouraging our college-bound students should be examined to confirm those goals are being met. Commonsense approaches should be applied to our student loan programs to reduce cost and ensure they are not solely promoting college enrollment, but graduation as well.
Today’s children are tomorrow’s work force. They will be asked to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace and will require advanced skills to succeed. Reforming our current education system to allow for choice, while restoring state and local government roles, will open the door to a better education system and a brighter future for the United States.