Education Community, Bipartisan Congress Tell President: We Can Work Together

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The education community’s ears perked up Wednesday night when President Obama turned in his State of the Union address to the topic of investing in America’s schools. What follows here—from education advocates, membership groups and members of Congress from both parties—is a cross-section of bipartisan support for the education agenda of President Obama and Arne Duncan:

“By linking education to the economy, President Obama made clear that diplomas mean dollars.”
—Bob Wise, President of the nonpartisan Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia

“All Americans agree that a young person needs a world-class education to compete in the global economy… The President and I agree on expanding the number of high-quality charter schools, and rewarding teachers for excellent performance. More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement.”
—Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), in the Republican response to the State of the Union

“In these tough times, we appreciate that President Obama is trying to shield children from budget cuts that affect their schools. He understands that kids don’t get a second chance to receive a good education and that our country’s future depends on the quality of education we provide for our children… We will work with the White House and Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. After eight years of No Child Left Behind, it’s time to pass a new law that will give every child access to the high-quality public education needed to succeed in college, work and life.”
—Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers

“I am especially pleased that President Obama called on Congress to rewrite our nation’s federal education laws. The key to getting this done will be bipartisanship. I plan to begin working on this immediately with this administration, Congressman Kline, our colleagues on the House Education and Labor Committee and all parties that have ideas about how to improve our schools.”
—Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Education & Labor

“There is no doubt we need to reform our federal education laws, and Republicans are anxious to enact policies that empower parents, teachers, and communities to provide a quality education for all our nation’s students.”
—Congressman John Kline (Minn.), Senior Republican Member of the House Committee on Education & Labor

“If there’s a major piece of legislation that has a chance to be bipartisan, this is it.”
—Congressman Mike Castle (Del.), Ranking Republican Member of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education

“The President made it very clear [Wednesday night] that he refuses to sacrifice the education opportunities available to Americans as a way of digging out of our economic crisis. A country that makes education a priority is a country bound for economic success. We applaud the President’s promise to improve our schools by investing in what works. NEA members have worked years under the flawed No Child Left Behind law, so we are anxious to work with the administration to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in a way that celebrates successful students, educators, and schools.”
—Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association

“Now more than ever, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (the law currently known as No Child Left Behind) must be rewritten to reflect its original purpose: success for all children, especially disadvantaged children.”
—American Association of School Administrators

“I also applaud the president’s investment in education. I am particularly pleased with the increased funding for K-12 education and look forward to working with the president to help educators improve our public schools.”
—Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

“I was extremely pleased to hear the President address something very dear to me: education. I serve on the Education and Labor Committee, and I agree with the President that we need to get to work on reauthorizing the nation’s elementary and secondary education laws. I especially appreciate his focus on raising standards, inspiring excellence in math and science, and turning around underperforming schools.”
—Congresswoman Judy Biggert (-Ill.)

“The Learning First Alliance strongly supports the reauthorization of ESEA in the current legislative session… We believe the stakes for our nation’s children—particularly low-income students and students of color, who have been ill served—are far too high for us to delay this important work.”
—Learning First Alliance, a partnership of 17 leading education associations

“Unfettered by inside-the-beltway partisan politics, President Obama indisputably has affected more change in the nation’s education policies in his first year in office than any President in modern history.”
—Democrats for Education Reform

“We applaud President Obama’s determination to support expansion of educational opportunity at a time of serious economic challenges, and endorse his position that a well educated nation is the key to economic success.”
—National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

“I share the President’s commitment to strengthening education though additional investment and reforms. Preparing our future generations for well-paying careers is critical to our nation’s security and our economic health.”
—Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)