Letter in Support of H.R. 1429, the "Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act"
November 16, 2007
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the conference report of H.R. 1429, the "Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act," and urges you to sign it into law.
H.R. 1429 reflects the country's efforts to close the achievement gap and provide all Americans with the opportunity to learn. In particular, the Chamber is pleased to see that this bipartisan legislation improves teacher and classroom quality by requiring that half of teachers nationwide have a bachelor's degree by 2013 and requiring programs to develop career ladders and annual professional development plans for full-time staff. These reforms also include a focus on school readiness by using best practices to support children's emerging literacy and vocabulary skills.
By signing the conference report to H.R. 1429, you accelerate the importance of aligning the Head Start performance standards with the state early learning standards. This type of alignment is critically important to enable students to proceed through the educational pipeline and be prepared for college and the workforce. The business community, in its efforts to strengthen and reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act this year, asked Congress to increase teacher and principal effectiveness as well as aligning state standards, with input from the business community.
The Chamber looks forward to continuing these discussions on K-12 education reform.
R. Bruce Josten
Cc: Chairman Miller and Ranking Member McKeon, Committee on Education and Labor,
United States House of Representatives
Chairman Kennedy and Ranking Member Enzi, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions, United States Senate