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Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Representing the 9th District of New York



schoolroom desks and chairsElementary and Secondary Education:
In 2001, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act, representing this nation’s commitment to closing the achievement gap and helping all children learn by holding states and schools accountable for student academic progress.  However, significant changes are needed to if we are to provide our students with a first-class education.  The keys to a first-class education are no mystery.  I believe that we can make dramatic improvements to America’s education system by taking the following steps:
I believe that we should continue to hold our schools accountable for the progress of every student, however it is also necessary to find new ways to evaluate our children’s educational abilities.  One way of assessing their abilities is through the use of growth models.   States and schools deserve credit for the progress that they make over time through the use of growth models.  This fairer accountability system will credit schools for improvements in the performance of their students.
While I believe that we should continue to place strong emphasis on reading and math skills, we should also allow states to use more than their reading and math scores to determine how well schools and students are doing.  By using a more comprehensive evaluative approach to testing, student leaning and school performance can be assessed more fairly and accurately.
The quality of a child’s teachers and principal are critical factors in determining the academic success of a child.  I will continue to work to ensure that all of our children are taught by well trained and highly motivated teachers and principals.  To accomplish this I support the hiring of teachers with expertise in the subjects they are teaching, lowering the teacher to student ratios, state-of- the-art mentoring programs for new teachers, professional career ladders for both teachers and principals as well as improved physical working conditions.
None of this will be possible without fully funding the federal mandates established by the No Child Left Behind Act.  With appropriate levels of funding, we will be able to hire more teachers, pay them competitive wages and provide them with high-quality training.
Finally, because no factor matters more to a child’s educational success than his or her parents, involving parents in their child’s education is vital.  We will not be able to improve our children’s educational performance without the support and active participation of parents.
I believe that following the above steps will result in better educational outcomes for our children and help to ensure that every child receives the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully compete in the 21st century.

More on Education

Feb 10, 2017 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017, a bill she introduced which would dramatically expand the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States prior to November 4, 2016. The bill would grant eighteen months of TPS to every eligible individual.

Dec 3, 2015 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Every Student Succeeds Act, which allows individual states and local school districts expanded authority to evaluate the performance of schools. The bill passed by a vote of 359 to 64. Congresswoman Clarke voted “yes.”

Jul 10, 2015 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on H.R. 5, the “Student Success Act,” also known as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which passed Congress yesterday by a vote of 218 to 213. Congresswoman Clarke voted “no.”

The bill, sponsored by Republicans, would undermine support for public schools by allowing the diversion of resources from low-income districts to high-income districts and by enabling the transfer of funds from programs that support low-income students and English-language learners.

Dec 10, 2014 Press Release

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has been awarded approximately $25 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support pre-k programs in New York City, Yonkers, Uniondale, Indian River and Port Chester. In addition to being based in communities with high poverty rates, these districts serve high numbers of children who are Dual Language Learners.

Aug 11, 2014 In The News

"State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report late this May that examined changes in Brooklyn’s economy from 2003 to 2012, and the results are encouraging."

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Jun 10, 2014 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke  released the following statement commending President Obama for his decision to expand an alternative repayment program for federal student loans that limits monthly payments to ten percent of the borrower's discretionary income. His executive order instructs the U.S. Department of Education to extend this program to students who borrowed before October 2007 or those who have not borrowed since October 2011. As a result, an estimated five million additional borrowers will have access to the program.

May 13, 2014 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on  H.R. 4622, the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, a bill she has co-sponsored which requests that the Secretary of Education allow borrowers to refinance their student loans at an interest rate of four percent. A lower interest rate would allow millions of borrowers, many of whom have substantial debts incurred in college or graduate school, to invest in our economy.

Apr 11, 2014 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke today become a co-sponsor of H.R. 4480, the Protecting Educational Loans for Underserved Students Act (the PLUS Act), which will allow more families to access student loans to send their children to college.