Education reform is one of the biggest issues facing our country today. The federal government is spending massive amounts of money on K-12 education, but taxpayers are seeing no return on that investment. Pouring more federal money onto the problem is not the solution. Neither is imposing a one-size-fits-all solution that only sounds good in a DC office. We need to focus on accountability, flexibility and local control, identifying and funding only what works, and expanding parental choice.
As a school board member, I saw that local control and community involvement were not to be underestimated. Giving communities the tools and the flexibility to address their particular needs not only encourages greater local involvement in education but also gives students an example of the ingenuity and perseverance that will serve them well in the world today.
We also need to expand our focus on higher education from just the traditional colleges. In a dynamic, global economy, Americans need to be able to train or retrain for the careers of the 21st century. Some will be able to pursue this through traditional colleges, but many will opt for the flexibility and practicality of schools with specialized, practical training. Supporting an array of educational facilities provides our workforce the greatest chance to compete on today's world stage.