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Access to a high-quality education is critical to developing the next generation of leaders; and in an increasingly global world, it is more important than ever. Our students are no longer competing against students from neighboring states, they are competing against students from around the world. America will only continue to lead the world in innovation and ideas if our children are given the best educational opportunities possible from early childhood through graduate school. 
We need an education system that rewards accountability, achievement, and results. In a rapidly changing environment, we also need a system that can adapt to the world that we live in while still having an eye on the future. This includes investing in the jobs of tomorrow by increasing our focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 
It is critical that we restore control of education decisions back to local communities. Our local school boards, administrators, teachers, and parents – not bureaucrats in Washington – know how to best educate our students. I believe that when communities take control and ownership of education decisions, students will be more successful inside and outside of the classroom. 
A child’s zip code should not dictate the quality of education he or she receives. Minnesota pioneered the way in developing charter schools, and we continue to be a leader today. Increasing opportunities at charter schools will give students, families, and educators more freedom and flexibility in making decisions and ensure no student is ever trapped in a failing school.