I believe access to a high-quality education is the most important determinant to a child's chances of achieving their dream, and for America to have a workforce that can compete globally in the 21st Century.

To keep pace with our rapidly changing economy, our system of public education must be improved and updated. Local schools should be allowed more flexibility to innovate and make decisions in the best interests of our children. New ideas should come from the classrooms and communities, rather than from distant lawmakers in Washington.

School boards and district leaders should be encouraged to identify and promote learning programs that have a proven track record of increasing student aptitude, rewarding good teachers and providing viable options that give our students the greatest opportunity to succeed.

We should also search for new ways to increase the affordability of higher education and ease the burden of student debt.

For instance: Why not consider granting a college degree after three full years of study? This is already being promoted in Canada and England – potentially cutting the total cost of college by 25%.

Why not consider reducing the interest rate on student loans to 0%, for those graduates or their parents who continue to make payments on time?

Recruiting, training, supporting, and retaining our best teachers and school leaders must become a priority. It is key that we attract and keep top-notch talent in these essential positions if we are to have strong communities and a modern workforce strong enough to be globally competitive. It’s also the best way to give our children access to achieving their American Dream.