SMARTER EDUCATION REFORM
As a former chair of the Rhode Island Board of Regents, I recognize that public education is the appropriate responsibility of state and local governments. While America spends more on education than nearly every other developed country, many of our schools are failing our kids. The following steps will help reform schools by empowering parents and local communities again:
-Support and provide technical assistance to schools and educators striving to implement high standards and superior student performance.
-Secure resources and technical support to close the performance gap facing disadvantaged children.
-Create education-innovation labs to develop new ways to deliver quality educational programs.
-Promote parental school choice by having federal funds follow students more closely and thus create opportunities for students to attend schools that best meet their educational needs.
-Earmark a percentage of any federal infrastructure funds for school modernization and security.
The federal government also plays an important role in higher education. Traditionally it has supported college and university research and provided subsidies for students who could not afford college. These federal programs have unlocked the doors to opportunity and innovation and they should be enhanced.
Which college to attend and how to pay for it is a stressful decision facing Rhode Island families and students. We must make the progress easier by looking to simplify aid forms, streamline the loan process, provide families with market information about schools they are considering, and promote an accreditation process that provides students with affordable options.