NEW YORK CARIBNEWS ARTICLE -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 13, 2007)
* Mr. RANGEL. Madam Speaker, I rise today to enter into the Record an article published in the New York CaribNews, for the week ending July 10, titled ``President George Bush to Send U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings to Caribbean.'' While the Caribbean Community--CARICOM--nations were in the United States last month, they highlighted the education challenges the region is facing. The article discusses Secretary of Education Spellings' upcoming visit to the region following up on their concerns, in the hopes of developing a cooperative solution to boost CARICOM's educational systems.
* The Secretary's trip will focus on the need to foster stronger tertiary educational systems throughout the region. By sharing our experiences in addressing the challenges of education, we can strengthen our efforts to reach the goal of better education for all throughout the region. Quality education for all is a recipe for growth and innovation that leads to economic and social development. Education is a way out of poverty and fosters democracy, as well as respect for human rights.
* In her visit to the CARICOM nations, I also encourage her to visit the nation of Haiti. This country is the most economically vulnerable of the CARICOM states and would benefit greatly from methodologies to address their education challenges. Haiti is a nation of 9 million habitants and it is estimated that more than half of the population is unable to read and write. This trend cannot continue due to the increased interdependency of countries caused by globalization. It does not benefit the United States or the Western Hemisphere to continue to leave behind the thousands of Haitian children each year by allowing illiteracy to prevail. Lack of education leads to poverty and it is my contention that poverty puts the security of the region at risk.
* I cannot underscore enough the importance of a consistent and progressive relationship between the United States and the Caribbean. Educational collaboration with our partners in the western hemisphere will lead to higher living standards and stronger democracies.
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