Getting Washington Bureaucrats out of Arkansas Classrooms

A quality education can be the spark that ignites imagination and enables young people to pursue their highest dreams. As the father of two young children, I am a strong advocate for local control of education. Teachers and administrators in Arkansas understand the needs of their students better than Washington bureaucrats can.

As Congress begins the process of crafting new education policy, I am seeking input from teachers and administrators in our First District. Last week I met with educators from Poinsett, Craighead, Clay, Green and Lawrence Counties to listen to their concerns and get their ideas for improving education policy. After listening to these teachers and administrators, it is clear our nation’s education system needs to be reformed with a great emphasis put on local control.

The Education and Workforce Committee has begun work to reform our nation’s education system. The Student Success Act is an effort to return the responsibility of measuring student performance to states, local school boards and parents. The legislation also gives local school districts the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their students. For example, agriculture education might not be important to a student in Rhode Island, but here in Arkansas agriculture education is essential. The Student Success Act would allow local school boards to set curriculum that will best meet the needs of students living in their district.

Eliminating federal education standards and giving teachers more flexibility will improve our education system and let teachers teach. Allowing local school boards to set education standards and decide course offerings for their students is just common sense. Teachers do not need faceless Washington bureaucrats telling them how to meet their students’ needs. Teachers are in the classroom with students every day. Their professional relationship with students and their real-world classroom experience qualifies teachers to determine the best approach for meeting the individual needs of students.

Over the next few months, I will continue meeting with educators and getting their ideas for improving education policy. By listening directly to teachers and administrators, Congress can write a national education policy that empowers local school districts and teachers with the freedom they need to set education standards and prepare their students for the future. Bottom line, getting Washington bureaucrats out of Arkansas classrooms will improve education.

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