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Cheryl A. Oldham
Cheryl A. Oldham is vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is also senior vice president of the education and workforce program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Through events, publications, and policy initiatives—and drawing upon the Chamber’s extensive network of members—the education and workforce program connects the best minds in American business with the most innovative thinkers in education and training, helping them work together to preserve the strength of America’s greatest economic resource, its workforce.
Oldham has 20 years of experience in public policy development and implementation as well as in project management and government relations. Her previous experience includes serving for 8 years in President George W. Bush’s administration. In July 2008, the president designated Oldham as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education while also serving as chief of staff to the under secretary of education. As chief of staff, Oldham was the senior adviser on policy and strategy and oversaw the coordination of the programs and policies for which the office was responsible. These included vocational and adult education, postsecondary education, and federal student aid.
Opportunity is at the heart of the American Dream, and at the heart of opportunity is a job. When the right person fills the right job, we all benefit—families, neighborhoods, businesses. We all grow and prosper. Yet, there’s a disconnect in our country. The national unemployment rate has fallen since the depths of the Great Recession, but we still have too many people without jobs and too many jobs without people.
In "A Bronx Tale," the actor keeps telling his son that “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” Similarly, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization needs to be done right, because we can’t afford to let talent go to waste.
Graduation rates for disadvantaged students continue to rise, according to data released this week by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.
Thirteen years. That is the last time Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known in its current form as ‘No Child Left Behind.’ And, thirteen years later, everyone agrees the law is in desperate need of modifying, updating, and improving.