K- High School:
In 2001, Congress passed very sweeping education reform legislation known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB represents this nation's commitment to closing the achievement gap and helping all children learn by holding states and local school districts accountable for student academic progress. As a result of NCLB, there are more qualified teachers in the classroom, thanks to the minimum standard that requires teachers to have a Bachelor's Degree, state certification, and demonstrated knowledge about the subject they are teaching. Also, educators are better able to see what subject areas need more attention due to testing practices. The implementation of NCLB has made some positive changes. However, there are still many areas that need to be addressed so that we better serve the needs of children, teachers and administrators. The keys to a first-class education are no mystery. I believe that we can make dramatic improvements to America's education system by taking the following steps:
* I believe that we should continue to hold our school's accountable for the progress of every student; however it is also necessary to find new ways to evaluate our children's educational abilities. Neither learning nor testing is one size fits all, and our schools should reflect that ideology.
* Because no factor matters more to children's educational success than the quality of their teachers and principals, I seek to ensure that all of our children are taught by well trained and highly motivated teachers and principals. To accomplish this I support the hiring of teachers with expertise in the subjects they are teaching, lowering the teacher to student ratios, state-of- the-art mentoring for new teachers, professional career ladders and improved working conditions.
* Finally, none of this will be possible without fully funding the federal mandates established by NCLB. With appropriate levels of funding we will be able to hire more teachers, pay competitive wages and provide them with high-quality training. This in turn will result in better educational outcomes for our children and help to ensure that every child receives the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully compete in the 21st century.
As a member of the education and Labor Committee, I was proud to co-sponsor the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (H.R. 2669). The cost of attending college has increased by 40% over the past five years. As a result, students are graduating with more debt than ever. In far too many cases students are postponing enrollment or avoiding college altogether because they just can't afford it. This legislation is a much needed sigh of relief for traditional college students, working families, and adult learners in central Brooklyn and across the nation.
The cost of attending college has increased by 40% over the past five years. As a result, students are graduating with more debt than ever or postponing enrollment or avoiding college altogether because they just can't afford it. This legislation is a much needed sigh of relief for traditional college students, working families, and adult learners in Brooklyn, NY and across the nation.
This landmark legislation was signed into law by the president on September 27, 2007. The College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 provides the single largest increase in college aid since the GI bill. HR 2669 adds more than $20 billion for college financial aid assistance over the next five years and cuts interest rates on student loans in half over the next four years. Simply put, with the passage of H.R. 2669, New York would receive an interest rate cut savings of $4,570 per student over the life of the loan at a 4 year college or university. Additionally, over 420,000 students could benefit from a $500 increase in the Pell Grant.
Further, HR 2669 rewards public service by providing loan forgiveness to first responders, law enforcement officers, nurses, early childhood educators, and others that are so vital to the sustainability of local communities.