In Honor of Our Educators

Around the country this week, students, parents, neighbors and communities are taking time to honor educators for Teacher Appreciation Week.

And deservedly so. Teachers everywhere deserve our  admiration and our appreciation.

Few jobs matter more to our nation’s long-term success.  Kids are 20 percent of our population but 100 percent of our future.

In Congress, I’ve worked to improve education – both for students and the dedicated teachers who educate them.

In 1996, I wrote the program called E-Rate to make sure schools and libraries had Internet access. Back then, just 35 percent of schools had an Internet connection. Now, more than 95 percent do.

And, importantly, E-Rate ensured that kids from working class neighborhoods could connect to the Web, just like the kids from well-off neighborhoods.

I believed then and I believe now that we have break down the barriers for kids to get a chance to get ahead.

A quality education is our nation’s best business plan. That’s why I support President Obama’s Race to the Top competition.

Race to the Top funding rewards schools, teachers and districts that come up with innovative ways to elevate education standards and enhance student performance. In 2010, I helped secure $250 million for Massachusetts schools for the 2010-2014 school years.

I especially support programs that highlight the incredible work that our teachers do every day and we should not support proposals that evaluate teachers and children solely on test results.

For me, my mother was instrumental in sparking my love for learning. She was the president of her high school class and dreamed of going to college to become a teacher. But when her mother died – my grandmother – she had to stay home to take care of her younger siblings.

But she instilled in me the importance of education. If I’m elected, I will take that value straight the United States Senate to protect every child’s right to a world-class education, regardless of race, creed or color.

This week, I hope you’ll join me in recognizing our teachers who go to work every morning to improve the lives of our kids and make our nation’s future brighter.

Thank you, teachers, for all you do.