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I am a proud product of the Nevada public school system and a supporter of our public schools and teachers across the state.
I believe education is a top priority for Nevada and the nation and I do not believe that unelected federal bureaucrats are a better judge of educational practices than our local teachers, school administrators, parents and community leaders.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), most recently passed as the Every Student Succeeds Act, replaced many of the unwise and impractical provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. The Every Student Succeeds Act includes revisions that give our children every opportunity for success by eliminating bureaucratic roadblocks and implementing best practices in education quality and school policy.
While I believe America's children have unlimited potential, the schools that serve them require significant improvement. America is increasingly losing its global competitiveness, which we must regain through educational curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses.
Our nation is unique in its diversity, its economy, and its vision. Although I do not believe we should pattern ourselves after any other country, it is helpful to look to other countries with well-educated citizens, like Germany and India, to see what successes they have achieved. Some of these successes, particularly in STEM curricula areas, may provide seeds for ideas that could be reworked and implemented for American students.
I also believe that while all teachers should be given a base salary, creating incentive bonuses for teachers that are tied to improved student performance would encourage increased creativity and enthusiasm in the classroom. Better teachers should receive compensation for their skills and additional efforts.
Such incentives would also encourage well-educated individuals to enter into and to stick with teaching, which will itself promote improved student performance. Ultimately, teacher pay is something that schools and local administrators should determine. I care deeply about the future of our nation's educational system and believe we need to empower local leaders to allocate funds which will improve student achievement and then determine what path is best for their students to take.