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Education & Labor Republicans in The Hill's Education Special Report


Rep. John Kline: 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.  

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor issued another bleak jobs report, which was greeted with understandable anxiety about rising unemployment and the loss of 54,000 jobs. What failed to make headlines were the statistics showing the correlation between employment levels and workers’ educational achievement. The numbers are startling and should serve as yet another reminder of the urgent need to fix our broken education system. Read More

Rep. Vernon Ehlers: 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.

Before I came to Congress, I received a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and served as a professor of physics both at the University of California at Berkeley and at Calvin College. I worked closely with the education faculty at Calvin to establish a joint initiative to help prospective elementary school teachers build the confidence and gain the content knowledge they needed to teach science to their students. These experiences stuck with me and underpinned much of my thinking about the importance of teachers and the role of federal education laws in teacher training and professional development. Read More

Rep. Glenn Thompson: Destiny Written

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.

However, as I listened to the president’s speech, a single sentence stood out and resonated with me: “Nobody gets to write your destiny but you.” I wish this statement were entirely true. But for young learners who might happen to be poor, Congress also writes a portion of that destiny. Read More

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