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Open Letter to Class of 2025 - Rep. Judy Biggert

Dear Class of 2025,

Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed your first day of kindergarten, and by bravely walking through your classroom doors today, you’ve embarked on the most important journey of your lives – one that leads to a world-class education. When I was growing up, my dad always told me that I could achieve anything with hard work and a good education. I am confident that, with the support and encouragement of your parents and teachers, the same will be true for you.

For those who participated in early learning programs like Head Start and Early Head Start, you’ve already had an opportunity to see what an incredible difference devoted educators can make. But for those taking their first step on the road to a 21st Century education, I encourage you to seek out and embrace every opportunity to learn from the dedicated men and women at your school who – no matter how tough they may seem – are working hard to make your future bright.

And in Washington, we’ll do our part too, by ensuring that your teachers can bring innovative strategies into the classroom to make learning fun. Too often, “teaching to the test” has led many educators to abandon creative, enriching aspects of their curriculum in favor of a one-size-fits-all approach. But we know that you deserve much better, and that is why we’re committed to eliminating unworkable standards like Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and tailoring your learning experience to your individual needs though new growth models.

We’re also going to make changes that you will experience first-hand, with a new focus on teacher training and resources for education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). That way, when you graduate, you will enter into a high-tech global economy with the superior math and science skills you’ll need to succeed. Again, I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities, because it is your expertise in these fields that will send mankind deeper into space, help cure diseases, and determine our nation’s competiveness in the years to come.

We must also meet our commitment to those of you who have special needs, face homelessness, or struggle with English as second language. I believe that the federal government’s goal should be to work with the states to ensure that every child has access to a quality education, regardless of his or her background. And I will continue to work to make that happen, as I know that you will one day do the same for your own children.

These are big goals. But we will meet these challenges by reaching across the aisle and building consensus around smart policies that will empower your parents and teachers to serve you better. So please don’t worry – instead, work, play, learn, and have fun! You’re going to really enjoy this journey, and we can’t wait to see all that you’ll achieve.

Best wishes,

Judy Biggert
Member of Congress