America’s schools are not preforming at a level our children need them to. quality in education is measured by student proficiency/mastery in core areas of learning and their ability to choose the profession that best suits them because their educational achievement gives them flexibility to do that. I believe state and local control is the best option to drive education because local school boards, communities and parents best understand the needs of their students.

We must give our children the opportunity to obtain their dreams and realize their full potential, as well as help ensure they have the education to compete in the future. We must address the need for more diversity, more educational opportunity and raise both our expectations and our standards for our students, teachers, schools and ourselves.  We must give our teachers and educators the flexibility to address student needs on a student by student basis so that every single student can be successful.

The cost of tuition has skyrocketed in real dollars, and partly as a result of students not being fully ready to move on to college. They often lack mastery in subjects like math, science, and reading according to recent ACT testing, and as a result college has become further out of reach. We must also look to new alternative ways to fund higher education through innovative partnerships with business.

A great example for solving student loan debt would be allowing college students to exchange a year of employment for a company paying a portion of their student loan directly out of college. Many businesses are ready now to hire students straight out of college and begin paying down their debt – right now.

We can create jobs, reduce debt and make businesses more profitable.

I also believe Congress must invest in innovative ideas while changing credentialing process so that the value equation for higher education improves for all students. Our future depends on students getting high quality, affordable education.  Our children deserve bright futures, the chance to accomplish their dreams and the ability to reach their full potential — just as generations before them did.