By Karen Nussle
Last week, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute convened a summit on education in response to the 35th anniversary of the Nation at Risk Report. The Institute not only brought together bipartisan leadership from previous administrations, but also current education stakeholders and champions.
CL4E’s Chairman Dr. William Bennett had the opportunity to interview current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The two secretaries touched upon the challenges they faced, insights they gained from interacting with students, and experiences they learned from visiting a variety of schools.
More importantly, Chairman Bennett and Secretary DeVos examined the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2017 Score results. Overall scores have made very little positive shift, while per-pupil spending has gone up by almost 75% over the last 35 years. As Secretary DeVos described, “this is not something we are going to spend our way out of, and this is not something we are going to mandate or regulate our way out of either.” In order to improve these scores, she noted, change needs to happen at the state and local levels. This is a key principle for CL4E – local control.
Chairman Bennett noted with the Secretary that CL4E’s role is to convene these state policymakers and create an environment for them to “compare notes, find out what works, and see if the policy is replicable.” As Secretary DeVos concurred, “state legislative leadership can make a huge difference” in student outcomes.
CL4E will continue to assist state and local policymakers to implement conservative education policy around our key principles of local control, parent choice, accountability, and quality content. As noted by Chairman Bennett and Secretary DeVos, our education systems still need work, and our organization will continue to seize the day and create a brighter future for our children.
To view the full interview click here.
Karen Nussle currently serves as the President of Conservative Leaders for Education.