In his new role as chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Education, Employment and Training Committee (EETC), the Kentucky Chamber’s President and CEO Dave Adkisson led his first meeting in Washington D.C. this week. The committee, made up of leading business professionals from companies and non-profits like Nike, IBM and Educational Testing Services, heard from Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Carmel Martin.
“There is much alignment between the administration’s goals and the goals of the U.S. Chamber for the country’s education system,” noted Martin. She listed the Obama administration’s three main areas of work as professionalizing the teaching profession, encouraging systematic reform at the state level through programs such as Race to the Top, and promoting programs to increase college completion. Martin also reinforced the administration’s support for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind Act, with the inclusion of their blueprint for education recommended changes. The blueprint includes a refined accountability system for schools leaning toward competitive funding instead of automatic formula-based funding streams for schools. The committee also heard from U.S. Chamber consultants on the effect of the recent elections on education at the federal level and a review of higher education policy.
The EETC directs U.S. Chamber policy relating to all issues that affect education and workforce development policy, including workforce development preparation, pre-k through 12th grade education reform, postsecondary education, career and technical education, incumbent worker training, and lifelong learning, among others.