Rice, Klein: Education keeps America safe
Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein say improving education is key to America's leadership and national security.
March 20th, 2012
06:41 PM ET

Rice, Klein: Education keeps America safe

Editor's note: Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice lead the Independent Task Force on U.S. Education Reform and National Security, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Klein served as chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, where he oversaw a system of more than 1,600 schools with 1.1 million students. He is CEO of the Education Division at News Corp. Rice served as the 66th U.S. secretary of State from 2005-2009. She is a professor at Stanford University (where she also served as provost) and a founding partner of The Rice Hadley Group.

(CNN) - The United States is an exceptional nation. As a people, we are not bound by blood, nationality, ethnicity or religion. Instead, we are connected by the core belief that it does not matter where you came from; it matters only where you are going. This belief is what makes our country unique. It is also what makes education critically important, more so today than ever.

While our political leanings may be different, our careers have taught us that education is inextricably linked to the strength of this country and our leadership in the international community.

Today, globalization and the technological sophistication of our economy are widening already troubling socioeconomic disparities, rewarding those who acquire the right skills and punishing brutally those who do not. Much is at stake.

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Opinion:  We need to fix No Child Left Behind
Minnesota Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, reads to a Kindercare class in Burnsville in August, 2010.
January 6th, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Opinion: We need to fix No Child Left Behind

By John Kline, Special to CNN

Editor's note: John Kline is a Republican congressman from Minnesota and chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

(CNN) - Ten years ago, "No Child Left Behind" became the law of the land.

Enacted under President George W. Bush's administration with the promise to focus on individual student achievement and overall school performance, No Child Left Behind was heralded as groundbreaking. And in some ways, it was.

The expanded use of data helped superintendents, principals and teachers pay more attention to the students with the greatest need. Parents now have more access to important information about the quality of teachers and schools, and some student achievement gaps have narrowed.

Hindsight is 20/20, and after a decade of No Child Left Behind, we can clearly identify the law's weaknesses.

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Filed under: NCLB • Policy • Voices