Education (September 2010)

Destiny unwritten

Earlier this month, President Obama welcomed back to school the students at Masterman Demonstration School in Philadelphia, Pa., and young learners across America. As always, the president delivered a passionate speech, rightfully telling the students that they should dream big and strive through hard work to accomplish their individual goals. I agree with the president when he said nothing in life is going to have a greater impact on the success of America’s youth than education.

Reflecting on STEM education

When I came to Congress in 1993, the phrase “STEM education” did not exist. That might be hard to believe, given the widespread adoption of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) acronym by today’s business and education leaders. As the end of my congressional service draws near, I have found myself reflecting on the progress that has been made in equipping our students with STEM education content knowledge and skills.

Education is a jobs issue

According to the so-called experts, the Great Recession that began during the winter of 2007 ended in June of 2009. This should be welcome news, but many Americans find it hard to believe. More than 14.8 million workers are still unemployed, and 27 states recently reported an increase in unemployment. 

Race to the Top has unique role to play in reforming schools for the future

The Race to the Top program has fundamentally redefined the education landscape in America. With less than 1 percent of the annual K-12 education spending in our country, the program has given states the incentive to lead reform in a comprehensive and collaborative way. Race to the Top has helped advance reform more in the past 18 months than any other program in the history of the Department of Education.