Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

U.S. Rep. McSally: Every Southern Arizona Student Deserves Access to a High-quality Education

July 8, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today voted in support of legislation that passed the House to reform our flawed K-12 education system. H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, replaces provisions under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Administration’s convoluted waiver process, known as Race to the Top, with reforms that restore education decisions to states and local school districts and empowers parents and education leaders to ensure accountability.

“Every Southern Arizona student, regardless of a family’s background, income, or zip code, deserves the promise of a high-quality education. This is a fundamental principle of our country, yet, right now, we are failing to make good on that promise,” said Rep. McSally. “As a child of a public school educator, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges our teachers encounter in a system that prioritizes testing over students. Today’s legislation would reform our current broken system by reducing the federal government’s footprint and restoring local control for determining education and performance standards and the best ways to meet students’ needs.” 

Upon passage, local education leaders from two Southern Arizona school districts had this to say:

“We are strongly in favor of accountability in our school system. We strive to hold our students and ourselves as educators and administrators accountable,” said Calvin Baker, Superintendent of the Vail Unified School District. “It’s our belief that that accountability is better off in the hands of states and local districts than the federal government.”

“What we’ve seen with our current system through NCLB and Race to the Top is a shift of decision-making authority to the federal government,” said Dr. H. T. Sanchez, Superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District. “I strongly support providing greater flexibility and oversight authority to local districts as outlined in this bill to meet local priorities and needs.”

Currently, just 38 percent of high school seniors read at grade level, and only 26 percent are proficient in math. Out of 34 countries that participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment, the United States ranks 20th and 27th in science and math, respectively.