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Public Statements

Honoring the Broward County Public School System

Floor Speech

Location: Washington DC

Mr. WEST. Mr. Speaker, I realize education is essential for every child in our nation. Education is the great equalizer and with a sound education any child can live the American Dream.

As a former teacher in Broward County, Florida, I am proud to congratulate Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) for the 11 high schools in their county receiving top national ranking in the Washington Post.

The Washington Post named 11 Broward County high schools in its High School Challenge list of top 1,900 public high schools in the nation. The schools were Fort Lauderdale (109), Marjory Stoneman Douglas (238), Nova (285), Miramar (355), Cooper City (376), Stranahan (431), J.P. Taravella (507), Flanagan (554), Plantation (739), Coral Springs Charter (983) and Pembroke Pines Charter (1,108) high schools join an elite group of public high schools nationwide. The Washington Post list represents only seven percent of schools across the United States.

Fort Lauderdale High School placed top among Broward high schools, with a national ranking of 109 and a state ranking of 24. According to the Washington Post, the Challenge Index's formula is to divide the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors.

The Washington Post advises that while the index is not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school's commitment to preparing average students for college. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests in 2010 as they had graduates, are noted on the national list.

The Broward County Public School System is the nation's sixth largest public school system and the largest fully accredited district with over 234,600 students in more than 230 schools and education centers. The Broward County Public School System is committed to giving all students access to a college-ready, job-ready curriculum that meets rigorous expectations which prepares students for post-secondary options and also ensures that students are able to be successful and complete post-secondary schooling once they begin.

To ensure student's can succeed in the 21st century, I will always focus in Congress on what's best for students, parents, teachers, and communities. This means helping children achieve their full and unique potential by equipping them with the tools and knowledge to succeed in the 21st century workforce. I believe the Federal Government must restore local control, empower parents, let teachers teach, and protect taxpayers. These principles should guide our efforts to reform federal education policy and protect the rights and responsibilities of states and local communities when it comes to educating the next generation.

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