Teacher compensation isn't the only factor in cultivating great teaching. Other important priorities include changing how we measure student performance, providing more flexibility to teacher-preparation programs, and improving how we train and support principals.
I've focused on making sure we have talented teachers and principals in our schools through proposals like the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act and the Presidential Teachers Corps.
When I was superintendent of Denver Public Schools, I saw the potential of some of our best and brightest students cut short, punished for the actions of others - kids who had grown up and done well in our school system, and kids who know no other home but America. This is unacceptable.
As we all become increasingly reliant on social networking websites and new technologies to stay connected, it's important to remain cognizant of how private personal information and data is handled.
To me, the burden of proof isn't on people looking for ways to improve our schools; it's on people who want to keep things the same. Our current system isn't working, and too many kids are being left behind.
To protect our country's economic future and the health and well being of all Americans, we must find a way to rein in out-of-control costs, provide quality, affordable health care choices to all, and make outrageous insurance industry abuses a thing of the past.
I believe there's not a harder job in the world than being a teacher, and there isn't a job with a more direct impact on the performance of our students.
Facebook is by far the largest of these social networking sites, and starting with its ill-fated Beacon service, privacy concerns have more than once been raised about how the ubiquitous social networking site handles its user data.
While NCLB drove important progress on transparency and data disaggregation, I think it's clear that the status quo in public education is not working for our kids or our country.
If we, as individuals, want to keep control of our democracy - rather than have a government paid for by corporate interest checks - then we have to fight back now and make sure our system reflects the belief that people, not corporations, control our democracy.
I think if we can get people focused to do what we need to do to keep our kids from being stuck with this debt that they didn't accrue, you might be surprised at how far we can move this conversation.
Study after study affirms what I saw in the classroom every day as superintendent of Denver Public Schools: Nothing makes a bigger difference for student learning than great teaching.
I am most interested in the outcomes at schools and school districts and ensuring that all kids are prepared for college and a career in the 21st-century job market.