K-12 Education and No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Every child is entitled to a high quality, public education. This principle is so deeply held in Wisconsin that it is written into our state's constitution. I believe it is absolutely essential that the federal government be a partner with state and local governments, to provide the resources necessary to ensure that every child in this country has access to a complete and competitive education, from the cradle through career.
The years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most critical in his or her life. By providing support and resources early on, our youngest children will be prepared to succeed later in their educational career.
In 2001, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to improve standards, hold schools accountable for performance and provide additional resources. In many ways, NCLB was a positive step forward. However, there are significant problems that need to be addressed, from drastic underfunding to unrealistic testing requirements. As we look to reauthorize this program, I will continue to support legislative efforts that seek to reform NCLB and provide the proper level of funding.
In addition, I believe we must ensure that our children are taught by high quality teachers. Unfortunately, our schools continue to have trouble recruiting and retaining quality educators. By increasing teacher pay and investing in innovative strategies to help teachers improve student outcomes, we increase the quality of public education throughout our country.