US Senator Drawing on Her Years as a Preschool Teacher to Affect Change in Nation’s Schools

Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd

During her many years as a preschool teacher, US Senator Patty Murray developed a deep understanding about the importance of quality education as it pertains to children in the earliest stages of learning. Her current role as an influential United States politician sees her now making moves to make preschool education a priority for the federal government by “rescuing” the No Child Left Behind Law. Murray was recently appointed to the role of ranking Democrat on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee and as such she will continue in her efforts to improve early education for children in preschools all across the United States.

Murray’s track record for getting government-sponsored educational programs approved and implemented over the years in impressive. She has succeeded in restoring the Workforce Investment Act designed to help develop adult education and retraining programs in the US as well as being integral in getting federal money approved for early childhood education initiatives. She has also spearheaded efforts to reestablish the federal Head Start program while also helping the nation’s college students navigate the ever-changing federal education grant regulations and requirements. But her current goal is to garner reauthorization for the No Child Left behind Act which is officially and formally titled the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Ultimately, Murray says she wants to provide a greater level of flexibility to states when it comes to meeting accountability goals in education while also focusing closely on literacy for children in low-income households. Murray says that she has long been passionate about the education of America’s children which is why she pursued a career as a preschool teacher. As her career developed, she says she eventually wanted to go beyond just teaching and establish herself as an influential leader in the fight for “better quality education for preschoolers everywhere.”