The dedicated work of the Heritage experts in the Center for Education Policy is paying off.

Last Wednesday Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke was invited to the White House to celebrate with D.C. students receiving scholarships through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (D.C. OSP).

D.C. OSP has finally been reauthorized through the budget, after barely surviving the last administration. President Obama had repeatedly tried to eliminate the program, which allows low-income students to attend safe and effective schools of their choice, through the budget process.

Over the years Heritage experts have published numerous reports, held countless meetings with Hill offices, produced videos, and worked with supporters to push for better education policy.

After years of drawing attention to this neglected scholarship lifeline for needy students, it’s a great victory to see it get such support from this administration and Congress.

Watch the Daily Signal’s video below to find out more about this scholarship program.

Read more about Lindsey Burke and her work at Heritage>>

What do you think the biggest overall need in education reform is?


Comments (65)

Leslie Stroud - May 13, 2017

Love to see history and values be restored to early childhood education. Discard social education such as racial gender equality justice. Discard indoctrination. Common core.

Charles Grimes - May 13, 2017

There are several items needed to improve the education system in our nation. Abolish the Department of Education , no unions , school choice and a system where not just property owners pay for local school systems .

Terry - May 13, 2017

Walter Williams, syndicated columnist, has stated numerous times, that a high school diploma prior to 1968, is equal to a college degree today. In the business world I can attest to this. This is when the elites started to dumb down the education system. This is also why business can`t hire decent college grads. They have no knowledge of history, geography, or civil issues. They are brainwashed by the progressive left.

Susan Moore - May 13, 2017

Teach the basics. The three rs and teach the children to think

Teach the children to question and problem solve everyday problems.

James Phetteplace - May 13, 2017

I believe a process should be implemented to stop the one sided indoctrination of our children by propagandists forcing a one sided view of our society.

Janet Davis - May 13, 2017

Get rid of NEA, and let states make their own educational decisions. Rural and megacities have very different needs, the students need different education options. NEA is demanding and unnecessary!

Duane - May 13, 2017

Individual vouchers so a student
can attend the school of choice.

Roger Baxter - May 13, 2017

It is well past time to remove the federal government from “education” entirely. It has become nothing more than a tool to force the will of unelected bureaucrats onto local school systems, and lock out private education.

Rich G - May 13, 2017

Get rid of Common Core teaching methods, our children’s education is better served locally. Put more responsibility in the parents hands to send thier children to the right schools through vouchers.

John Whitten - May 13, 2017

Education should be apolitical and focus only on academic subjects. American students rank woefully low when compared with other industrial nations. Eliminate the social and political agendas and perhaps the entire NEA.

Norann Redding - May 13, 2017

Carles Grimes said it all in a previous comment. I feel that teacher tenure has destroyed our education system. The many devoted and successful teachers should be rewarded for their excellence with promotions, awards and better pay. Bad teachers should find another career choice. We must never reward and promote bad teachers. Unions protecting bad teachers are destroying our education system. Achieving excellence in all our lives is the goal. School choice is a great solution to weeding out failing teachers if the Unions continue to remain in operation.

Jon McDonald - May 13, 2017

Better teachers and fewer administrators. Those who negotiated terrible contracts should go. Look to the success of others and use the best ideas. Charter schools are just one tool.

Kathy Fashoway - May 13, 2017

Need to get back to requiring American History classes in order to graduate from high school.

Jo-Ann - May 13, 2017

Get rid of Common Core! Initiate total school of choice.

Norman Gordon - May 13, 2017

Education has deteriorated as teacher unions have risen. That is because those unions are by nature and purpose acting on behalf of teachers rather than students, and have a disproportionate influence on the politics and funding of education. The best thing to do is to eliminate teacher unions.

Martha Mitchell - May 13, 2017

Abolish the Department of Education. Put the control of education back to the local communities. Each community has special needs that only those living there can provide the necessary educational skills and content.

Chris Makey - May 13, 2017

I agree with Charles Grimes previous comment. In addition I think we should consider Summer reading requirements, even 1 interesting book or book on tape, that highlights our American History. ie Dday &/or Citizen Soldier by Stephen Ambrose for Jr’s and Sr’s. Possibly Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose for Soph/Freshman (John Adams, 1776 by David McCullough, etc…). Teaching more US History to our children may also have a positive effect on voter turn out when they realize what our ancestors went through to secure our liberty.

Piet - May 13, 2017

The greatest benefit to Education will be to get Federal Government out of Education. Decisions are best made by the States, local governments and Parents. #2: Teachers Unions must be made entirely optional. Oh, did I say vouchers? Those 3 will get curricula back to reality in terms of teaching truth and history.

dorothy sebreny - May 13, 2017

A complete change in philosophy throughout the entire teaching community must be had as soon as possible. Our young are being indoctrinated right under our noses.
The teachers union must be abolished.
School must be merit based for all..teachers and students

Jim McKnight - May 13, 2017

We need more competition in order to drain the swamp of public education. More Private and charter schools are needed. Vouchers should be given to families regardless of private school type. Like the others abolish the Dept of Education. It does more harm than good.

Ron Ferrell - May 13, 2017

Why haven’t the American people realized that our tax dollars are going to a system of indoctrination of Marxist ideals? The biggest scam ever! We should require an ideologically neutral educational system if they are to receive Fed tax dollars from the people…look at the Millenials. Eliminate the Teacher’s Union also. Take it back!

Chan Bailey - May 13, 2017

Reducing the influence of unions and the federal government. Parents, tax payers, local teachers (not unions) and local school boards should have the most impact on their schools.

Robert C. Biggio - May 13, 2017


Jennifer L Blevins - May 13, 2017

My daughter taught as a Teach for America 11th grade English teacher in inner city DC charter schools and North Charleston, SC schools. I had the privileged to watch her teach in DC. I was shocked to see that the greatest challenge was not catching the students up to grade level in reading, thought and composition. In stead I saw 11th graders who had never created a word document on a computer. They were taking a fast train toward a life time of unemployment. Inner city and rural students must have access to and be taught the practical skills of using up to date forms of technology that will equip them to enter the job market. Let’s get practical.

John Gray - May 13, 2017

The greatest need in our schools today can be summed up in one word … God. We need to again teach Biblical principles … all of them … and share God’s love for everyone.

Darrell Parks - May 13, 2017

The Northwest Ordinance, passed by the U.S. Congress on July 13, 1787, declared education to be a state’s right with little or no involvement of the federal government. With the meddling of the federal government in the education enterprise, education has increasingly become more entangled and fractured. Other than broad-based financial support for national initiatives, the federal government should bow out of educational policy making.

Bill C - May 13, 2017

1) The liberals and their agenda have completely overtaken the educational system… develop strategies to root it out.
2) Every student should have a full-value voucher to go to schools of their choice.
3) Cut the administrative burden in lower and upper educational systems.
4) Cut university funding and make professors actually teach instead of seeking their individual profits through publishing and research grants.
5) Promote vocational schools – every kid isn’t necessarily college material and handsome livings can be earned with practical skills.

Bill Coates - May 13, 2017

School-district funds should be divided up equally among all students and issued as vouchers usable for home-schooling or for any accredited public or religious school. Accreditation sat both elementary and high-school levels should require that all major religions are covered with equal time, and that the American system of government at both state and federal levels gets at least a half-year course. American history deserves a full year, but Howard Zinn’s works should be excluded.
The federal Department of Education must be terminated.

Janice Evans - May 13, 2017

We MUST return to core values and curriculum in order to recapture our education. This of course assumes that we have teachers who consider this approach important rather than brain washing students in certain ideologies! Well educated students become informed constituents!!

Barbara DiMartino - May 13, 2017

I agree with others on.
1) get the federal government out of education, and put education back to the states
2) vouchers for school choices
3) get rid of the Dept.of education; it’s not longer Education, it’s the Dept.of INDOCTRINATION!!

Barbara DiMartino - May 13, 2017

1) get rid of the Dept.of Education; It’s become the Dept. of INDOCTRINATION.
2) vouchers for school choices
3) get rid of teachers’ unions.

Pete Newell - May 13, 2017

Get inner city parents to recognize that the democrat politicians who support the teacher’s unions are the underlying cause of the failure to educate their children. “Support school choice or we vote you out!”

James McMahon - May 13, 2017

Go back to to the “ancient” teaching methods of the ’40s and ’50s that worked. Example: Memorize addition and subtraction facts as well as the multiplication tables instead of letting the kids use calculators. Calculators should not be in the hands of students until they are proficient in arithmetic.

Sara Haigh - May 13, 2017

I whole heartedly support Charles Grimes.
He said it all!

Eric Wallin - May 13, 2017

Implementing a voucher system would facilitate school choice. Eliminating the Department of Education would help keep the Federal Government at bay. Finding a way to pry our schools out of the hand of teacher unions would be a major coup.

Dolores Gadevsky - May 13, 2017

Affirming Charles Grimes’ comments, also teach History again: not the politically correct or special-interest-oriented versions.. Provide for them the documents and the quotations that were, and should continue to be, so influential.

Arlene Williams - May 13, 2017

Abolish the Federal Department of Education. Allow school vouchers and school choice. Taxes for education should be returned to the states with no strings attached. There should be no federal mandates for curriculum. Teacher unions should be eliminated. Schools should be locally controlled. Study of the constitution should be required as should all our founding documents and writings of our founding fathers from primary source material. But, having worked as a school nurse in a public high school I see the problem is much broader, and that parents need to take more interest in rearing kids who respect themselves, each other, adults, authority, and our wonderful country. This would be a start.

Sonie Thompson - May 13, 2017

First off, I would like to bring to attention that education is the largest government employer. It is bigger than military even!
Citizens need school choice with competing ways and means to educate students, and teacher labor unions need downsizing. Abolishing the DOE would be a start and allowing private enterprise to educate would be advantageous.

Sonie Thompson - May 13, 2017

This is wonderful and so needed….we all need theses CHOICES!!

William Miller - May 13, 2017

We must get the Federal Government out of Education, except for a situation effecting many States that can’t be solved at the local level. With that done the union influence at the upper levels would be sharply diminished. Then some of the costs would stay in the States to help keep good teachers, while enabling the removal of poorly qualified ones.

William Miller - May 13, 2017

Restore the practice of giving good grades for good work and actual leaning. (No more “participation trophy” for just being there.) Except for the current state, just being there does not pay very well.

William Miller - May 13, 2017

Correction on previous post: I left out the word “welfare’ between current and State.

Helen Saino - May 13, 2017

Get rid of Common Core now.
Keep parents aware of the child’s needs.

Al - May 13, 2017

While I have no problem with unions in private industry that are voted in by the workers, I do not believe in public sector unions. They do more harm than good. Abolish the Dept of Education as that is the business of the States/people and provide legislation that provides for each state to support school choice via vouchers.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - May 13, 2017

The biggest overall need in education reform is, eliminating liberal college administrations , boards of directors and especially liberal professors. Then our kids will be able to get an education they deserve.

Mildred Leslie - May 13, 2017

Put discipline and God back in the school room.

GENE HULL - May 13, 2017

help teachers present the value of freedom of choice in education and living!!!

Karen Laffredi - May 13, 2017

The biggest need in public education today is to teach the kids to read and write so that they can think for themselves. Public education today is nothing but a gigantic welfare program to help “low-come” people. There is very little concern that only 25% of young people today who graduate from High School can read. The biggest mistake that we ever made was to make education a social experience rather than a learning experience. If a person graduates from High School and cannot read, there is no hope for any kind of future. The college graduates today and equal to the high school graduates of 40 years ago. There is no fixing the current system unless it is turned back over to the states, principals have the right to hire and fire teaches, and students are held back until they reach grade level. Tough, but true!!!!!

Gena - May 13, 2017

Teach the Constitution , Western Civilization . American history .

JOSEPH LAROCCA - May 13, 2017

There can never be any progress in public education until DISCIPLINE and RESPECT are restored in the classroom and the school house. One to begin would be to require students to wear uniforms. Now they come to school dressed to PLAY not to LEARN

Nora Jenae - May 13, 2017

First – Get the Federal government and the NEA out of the picture. Replace all the indoctrination programs with education in reading, writing ( including script) and arithmetic, with how to think analytically, and solve story problems (which I hated).

Ronald Woods - May 14, 2017

Government intervention is the worse thing we have ever done to our children. There isnt a parent in this country that want the standard forced upon them by our government. We need to go back to the basics and get parents involved and government out. Parents need to speak for their children and build the dreams in the children.

Giovanni - May 14, 2017

Put the public schools out of business, K – 12…

Jerry Metcalf - May 14, 2017

I agree with Charles Grimes May 13 and James Phetteplace May 13 ditto for me.

Hank Raehn - May 14, 2017

I believe our educational system operated just fine before Jimmy Carter instituted the federal Education Department in 1979. Since then, billions have been spent by the department and our education quality has deteriorated quite dramatically ever since. I urge abolishment of the federal Education Department and the unions affiliated with education immediately and to return education to the states and local governments. I believe national standards for education should be abolished. The federal government should not collect taxes for education; that should be the purview of the states and local governments. I believe vouchers should be made available to families who want to send their children to other-than-government schools. Teachers and school administrators should be relieved from “teaching to the test” so they can focus on educating students. I believe local school districts ought to be able to return to prayer in the schools as was the custom prior to 1963.

Grace Miller - May 14, 2017

Remove “new math”, go back to phonics, and teach social studies with stories about [people and lives with dates and culture. Truth comes from the Bible so it has a place in education. It tells of the bad cultures and the good ones and tells why.
Thanks for the opportunity to answer.

R. H. Knowles - May 14, 2017

Vouchers are the most important and most effective way to improve education.

Susan Merrick - May 15, 2017

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Start by asking Ms. DeVoss to select a business advisory council of top corporate CEOs with outstanding, on-line, world-class corporate universities ( For example, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. AT&T University is training a quarter million employees worldwide, on line (via Udacity and Georgia Tech), in computer science and cloud computing. Far less need for brick and mortar schools in the Digital Age.) Have the advisory council make recommendations to improve K-12 and higher edu graduation and job-placement rates. Stop forcing taxpayers to subsidize courses that don’t result in critical thinking and job placement. If students want to become Saul Alinsky/Marxist community organizers with Obama’s George Soros-funded nonprofit “Organization for America,” they should do it on their own time and their own dime. Not taxpayers’. Get Bill Ayers’ influence out of our teaching colleges and classrooms. Offer retirement incentives to administrators and faculty who meet the rule of 75, like the business world often does. As a taxpayer, I happily would help fund this. Do not replace them. Do more on-line teaching, instead. As faculty and staff attrition proceeds year after year, move more and more of the learning experience on line and accessible from any device. Retrain remaining admin and faculty using the Hillsdale College on-line courses as the model. The goal would be to make on-line, highly accredited schools at all grade levels an affordable option for all. Add Computer Science to the core curriculum at every grade level. (cute little ladybug-shaped coding ‘bots teach the youngest students the first binary steps of coding.) Restore 8th grade Citizenship and high school American Government courses to the core curriculum. Use Hillsdale College and its curriculum as the model. Hillsdales’ president Larry Arnn should be recruited to be an adviser to the advisory council. Once all this is accomplished, transfer the public education responsibility to the states. Pass legislation to codify these changes and to close the federal Department of Education. Drain the Education swamp.

Ellen “Lyn” McVicar - May 15, 2017

No Dept. of Education. No unions. Return to teaching the Constitution and the history of the U.S.
No more political correctness.

Reverend Lydia Lynne Fuller - May 15, 2017

This is great news for students of little economic means–praise the LORD Jesus!!!

Dennis - May 16, 2017

Get the government out of education! Let the free market decide what needs to be taught. No government involvement in the curriculum, no Federal funding, only state and local funding or better yet, private funding. The department of education needs to be done away with as does tenured teachers.

Pat Morse - May 16, 2017

Eliminate the Dept of Education. The burden of complying with regulations is strangling our schools and stealing money from our students. Let people enroll students where they want to with Education Savings, return market competition to schools.

gary jaquay - May 17, 2017

The entire K-12 public schools experience is a total joke. Kids are graduating as functional illiterates. Standards should be established for HS graduates that put our students at the top of all countries, and grades K thru 12 need to be structured to achieve it. States should have control and teacher unions abolished.

william schmidt - May 19, 2017

Too many high school grads do not know how to handle money, including budgeting your daily living expenses, how to use credit, the intricacies of credit cards, the real cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle, the real cost of home ownership and what expenses to expect. Explain the consequences of a lousy credit rating.

Mark Anglin - June 10, 2017

Political Correctness, aka Propaganda Compliance, cannot be a part of a serious education. How can a teacher function if everyone’s view is “equally valid” and feelings are the only facts? Perhaps the best solution is to get the federal government out of it, let the school systems be organized on a district-wide basis, and make sure that the school administrators are answerable to the parents of the children they teach, by whom they are elected or hired.

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