We Must Reverse America's Declining Competitiveness

The report released today by the National Center on Education and the Economy’s Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce reinforces the concerns that I have regarding America’s declining competitiveness and the nation’s declining rank among the world's most educated countries.  The report also highlights many of the same goals that I have reiterated as key priorities to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to successful in today’s global economy, and supply the nation with the mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and researchers it needs.

Together, we can improve the American education system from pre-K through post-secondary school, to ensure that American students develop the knowledge and skills they need to secure high-skill, high-wage and high-demand jobs by reauthorizing and improving on the Higher Education Act, Head Start, No Child Left Behind, and the Workforce Investment Act.  These programs are crucial to preserving American competitiveness in the global economy.

I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan, bicameral manner in the next Congress to:

· make high school matter for every student - motivate them to take tough courses and work hard, eliminate the ‘lost/wasted senior year;’

· assess achievement to ensure that students are learning and meeting expectations, and make sure that our methods of assessment reflect today's needs and tomorrow's requirements;

· reduce dropout rates;

· ensure that there is a qualified and effective teacher in every classroom;

· advance early education so that students begin school ready to learn; and,

· reduce the achievement gap between high-income and low-income schools/students.