Congress: Question 3 – Education
The candidates discuss the Department of Education.
As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the four candidates for the Congress in the Fifth Congressional District five questions that focused on topics ranging from education to war and from the economy to veterans' services.
Here is Question 3:
Do you feel the Department of Education is playing an important role to students of Massachusetts?
Dale Brown (I)
The federal DOE does not educate anyone and cutting it back 75% would let the states take more control of their own education system while removing many layers of wasted bureaucracy.
Bob Clark (I)
No. I believe if we eliminated the Department Of Education, and sent the money directly to our state and local school systems, they would make more effective use of it. And changing our testing standards to match a national standard is going the wrong direction. I say establish a standard that works best for the students of Massachusetts
Jon Golnik (R)
I believe we must look to reduce the role of the Department of Education and shift that control back to state and local governments who know what is best for their communities.
Niki Tsongas, incumbent
A quality education is the foundation upon which we create a vibrant society and economy, and I am fully committed to building an educational system that will help us realize our individual and national goals. Too many of our schools are failing, particularly in low-income areas, and as a nation we have the responsibility to ensure that every child has a quality education that can lead to success.
The Department of Education has taken important steps in proposing changes to our education system. Some of these ideas have been reflected in the Race to the Top initiative. I fully supported the commonwealth's application for this funding because I believe it is a tremendous opportunity for our state. Going forward, I will be closely monitoring the impact of these reforms to ensure that the commonwealth is able to keep its high education standards, retain flexibility for local areas, and hold school districts accountable to parents.
Finally, having served as a dean at Middlesex Community College, the commonwealth's largest community college, and knowing its impact on my own family, I have seen how higher education is the key to American ingenuity and innovation and to a productive civil society. In particular, I've seen how federal student aid programs can mean the difference between whether a student is able to attend college or not. An educated employee has access to better employment opportunities and higher pay, while an educated America enhances the nation's productivity and leadership in the global economy.