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Congressman George Miller addresses education at Cronkite School

October 19, 2009

Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.) spoke about the current state of education and the legacy of the No Child Left Behind bill at an event Oct. 19 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

ASU Vice President of University-School Partnerships Eugene Garcia welcomed Miller to Phoenix and introduced Congressman Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.). 

Garcia cited Pastor’s past as a teacher while introducing the congressman who serves Arizona’s Fourth District. “Congressman Pastor was really an educator before he was anything else,” Garcia said. Pastor pointed out the need for quality education for all children. “That’s the most important thing we can do as adults, educate our children,” he said. 

Miller praised the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus as an impressive asset to an urban area and he discussed his vision to improve education in the United States, especially in poorer school districts. Although children are doing better than seven or eight years ago, schools still need improvement in areas such as additional data to measure school’s success including teacher performance and retention, professional development and student retention.

Common standards, computer integration into classrooms and highly effective teaching are other factors that will improve children’s education, Miller said. Charter schools also should be held to the same accountability as other schools, he added. “You have to at least have some common benchmarks,” Miller said. 

Additional issues that need more attention include addressing why teachers leave the profession. Reasons range from feeling isolated in the workplace because they are not able to collaborate with other teachers to low salaries, Miller said.