U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and fellow moderate Senators Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Delaware), and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) to introduce their goals for education reform as work progresses on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which funds primary and secondary education.
"Right now, our nation's schools aren't producing the results that our children deserve," Senator Manchin said. "We're falling behind other developed countries, and we've got to do a better job of preparing our kids for college and the workforce. These are some commonsense solutions that we can all get behind to make sure our schools are educating all of our children to succeed in the future.
"As a former governor, I can tell you that every state is different and every state needs the flexibility to set high standards and make sure their children reach them -- a one-size-fits-all standard from Washington won't work."
The Senators also sent a statement with their goals for reform to Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"As moderate Democrats in the United States Senate, we would like the opportunity to express the urgency of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)," the Senators wrote. "We recognize that, while we work to recover from the recession, we must also be building the foundation for our long-term economic success. We believe that the following principles and policies will drive us toward the outcomes we need to remain competitive in a global economy and give all our children the opportunity to fulfill their potential."
The principles address five key components of ESEA reauthorization: Accountability Structure, School Turnaround, Teachers and Leaders, Innovation and Equity in Resources. Also supporting these education reform principles are the following moderate Senators: Herb Kohl (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mark Begich (D-AK)