Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

Email Candice Miller Candice Miller on Facebook Subscribe to Candice Miller's RSS Feed

Candice Miller: Congress making progress in strengthening U.S. education

by Candice Miller on August 25, 2014

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20140823/OPINION02/308230030/Candice-Miller-Congress-making-progress-strengthening-U-S-education?nclick_check=1

Millions of American children and college students return to school with a fresh slate — embarking on what they and those who care for them hope will be a challenging and productive year.

Achieving that dream will depend in large part on whether the students themselves seize the opportunity.

It has been my goal, as your representative in the U.S. House, to ensure that federal government policy creates the conditions under which outstanding educational opportunity is broadly available in the most cost effective way.

In the past two years, progress on reforming education — from early childhood through post-secondary — has been made.

Achieving that dream will depend in large part on whether the students themselves seize the opportunity.

It has been my goal, as your representative in the U.S. House, to ensure that federal government policy creates the conditions under which outstanding educational opportunity is broadly available in the most cost effective way.

In the past two years, progress on reforming education — from early childhood through post-secondary — has been made.

I was pleased earlier this year when House and Senate negotiators approved and President Barack Obama signed an overhaul of federal work force training policy that streamlines delivery and aligns vocational and technical programs with needs in the real economy. For many young people and for those forced to develop new skills in mid-career, vocational and technical training is the most direct path to the work force, and these changes should help make that happen.

The House also has addressed two key education issues: the empowerment of states, local school districts and parents to set the policies best suited to their needs and helping college students and their families to get the most bang for the education buck.

On the K-12 level, the House in 2013 passed the Student Success Act, a measure aimed at restoring the traditional primacy of local decision makers in establishing local school policy and practices.

The SSA would rein in much of the federal overreach that accompanied implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.Under our proposal, states and local school districts would have greater flexibility in determining how best to measure student achievement and teacher effectiveness. Parents would be empowered to choose the best educational option.

The spiraling cost of obtaining post-secondary education, resulting in students incurring crippling debt, has created a crisis of accountability in higher education.

The House legislation — including the Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act and Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Consulting Act — would give students and their families more accessible information about what they’re buying in the higher education marketplace and how best to pay for it.

Other House education initiatives would allow the Secretary of Education to lift federal requirements that impede innovation in providing personalized, cost-effective education, align federal guidelines for recipients of veterans educational benefits and roll back onerous federal school lunch requirements.

Legislation I co-sponsor called the Strong Start for America’s Children Act would expand and improve pre-school programs, which are critical in preparing young children for academic success.

I welcome your support and counsel as we pursue these important objectives.

Candice Miller represents the 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Previous post:

Next post: