I am committed to improving our nation’s education system for everyone. The quality of education for our young people is critically important to our country’s future. Our children need to be prepared to compete in the 21st century global economy, and the only way to make this happen is through education reform and accountability. Education is the key to America’s future and it must be one our nation’s top priorities, as it is for me.

We need common sense improvements to No Child Left Behind. Our education system must include accountability methods, so that we can measure both student and teacher achievement, which I believe begins with the states and local communities. Every community and every school is different. That is why we should give the power back to local administrators and parents, so that they can make the appropriate decisions for their children and students. The fundamental reality is communities, not unelected bureaucrats, should be making decisions on what the best methods for educating their students are.

It is time to reduce the size and scope of the federal role in education. We need to encourage innovation and flexibility, and not stand in the way of new ideas. Instead of the usual one-size-fits all approach that has been the standard operating procedure in the past, the House Education & Workforce Committee has advanced targeted reforms, such as H.R. 2218 “The Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act.” This legislation, which I was proud to support when it passed in the House by a wide margin, modernizes the existing federal Charter School Program, which supports the replication, expansion, and facility development of high-quality charter schools in America.

In addition to primary and secondary education, it is important to remember the massive amount of debt that many colleges students are graduating with. To add insult to injury, our economy has only gotten worse under President Obama, and these newly graduated students are finding it very difficult to find jobs.  Congress should be focusing on the economy and how to create jobs for these new graduates. Instead, the President is paying for his unprecedented takeover of the nation’s health care system by taking over the student lending industry and raising borrowing rates—effectively paying for his health care boondoggle on the backs of these students. The House has advanced measures to avert a doubling in the student loan interest rate, which I support, and hope we can act on soon.