A quality education can be the spark that ignites imagination and enables young people to pursue their highest dreams. I have always been a believer in local control of education. Teachers and administrators in Missouri understand the needs of their students better than Washington bureaucrats. After listening to teachers and administrators across our district, it is clear our nation’s education system needs to be reformed with a greater emphasis put on local control. This week the House of Representatives passed legislation with that goal.
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 Missouri 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.
Included in the bill was an amendment that would give state legislators the ability to approve programs coming from the federal level. This amendment will keep control of our education system at the state level where it belongs. Furthermore, if the state opts out of a federal program, the cost savings from not participating in the program will be used to pay down the national debt.
By listening directly to parents, student and teachers, the House of Representatives passed 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 Missouri classrooms will improve education.