Congresswoman Maxine Waters Honors Teachers, Inspires Students During Visit to Jordan High School for Teacher Appreciation Week
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by paying tribute to teachers during a visit to Jordan High School in Los Angeles today. She spoke to a group of approximately 75 teachers, recognizing them for the important and demanding work they do and thanking them for their service.
"Teachers are vital to the success of our children, our communities and our country. I have worked to provide educators with the resources they need and deserve, and I am proud to support efforts in Congress that will improve our schools. Investing in education means investing in our teachers, and this must be a priority," said Congresswoman Waters.
Congresswoman Waters noted that President Obama has identified education as one of his top priorities and that she and her colleagues in the 111th Congress provided substantial funding for educational programs in the economic recovery package passed earlier this year.
In addition, the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2010 includes investments to strengthen public schools, reward effective teaching, support best practices and improve student achievement.
During her visit, the school staff recognized Congresswoman Waters as an honorary "bulldog", the mascot of Jordan High.
Congresswoman Waters also spoke to an assembly of 300 students, emphasizing the importance of staying in school, graduating and pursuing higher education. "To be qualified for the high-skilled and high-paying jobs of the 21st century, you must have a good education. Increasingly, how much you earn depends on how much you learn. I know that students at Jordan High School as at other inner-city schools face obstacles, but I have confidence in you and believe that if you work hard you will succeed," she said.
Congresswoman Waters praised the recent success that students at Jordan High School and their teachers have demonstrated. The school's Academic Performance Index has increased by 17 points, two-thirds of students passed their English Language Arts and Math state exams last year, and the school leads District 7 in the percentage increase of students passing core college preparatory classes.
Teacher Appreciation Week (celebrated May 3 – 9 this year) is sponsored by the National PTA to strengthen support and respect for teachers.