Education has always been the great equalizer in America. We have always been able to promote equality, fairness, and opportunity through our schools. Education is the path to bettering ourselves. At a time when students in the U.S. must be prepared to compete in a global economy, it is essential that this opportunity not be put at risk.
The No Child Left Behind Act represented the most significant federal education reform for the K-12 grades in years. The intent of the law is to give students an opportunity to learn, graduate from high school, and go on to college or pursue a good-paying job. The focus of NCLB is on high standards, quality programs, better teaching, and local control and accountability. Since the passage of the law in 2001, national reading and math scores have risen, and performance results are up among students of all income levels. The law is now due for reauthorization.
The U.S. can also be proud of its institutions of higher learning. Alabama is fortunate to have an outstanding system of public and private universities and community colleges. It is vital that we keep these institutions strong, because they contribute greatly to the economy of Alabama and the quality of life enjoyed by our citizens.