Elementary and Secondary Schools:
I believe strongly in supporting public schools, students and teachers. The passage of No Child Left Behind established a vision of schools holding all students to high standards and true equality of opportunity in education. As the law has been implemented, it has met with both successes and challenges. In order to achieve true K - 12 education reform, the challenges reported by teachers, administrators and parents must be addressed. Teachers must be given the support they need to meet new standards set for them - this means access to meaningful professional development programs and the time to participate in those programs. States must be given the flexibility to include multiple measures of student achievement and measure growth over time. The supplemental services to schools performing below standard promised in No Child Left Behind must reach the students that need the assistance. Above all, the federal government must live up to the funding promised in No Child Left Behind.
Ensuring and increasing access to higher education is very important to me. I strongly support policies and programs that recognize the challenges faced by today's students - such as the rising costs of tuition. I have supported loan forgiveness and assistance for students who choose to enter professions facing a shortage in our state - such as math, science, special education, and reading teachers who work in low-income schools. I am committed to policies that will make student debt more manageable. Furthermore, I am committed to building upon the success of the Pell Grant program, which makes it possible for low-income students and their families to achieve their higher education goals. I will continue to support federal policies that promote access and success in postsecondary education for all Americans.