Joel Rubin has a deep personal commitment to public education. He is a certified elementary education teacher, earning his certificate as an undergraduate at Brandeis University, and has three young daughters, two of whom are in public elementary school at Potomac Elementary School and one who will join them next year.

Joel comes from a family of educators, as his mother is a retired English instructor at Penn State University-New Kensington and his sister is a faculty member at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. In addition, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy’s Washington campus.

Joel believes that every child should benefit from a quality public education and that it is America’s responsibility to support our students and teachers to make sure that they have the tools they need to succeed. We need to ensure that our public education system works for everyone – students, teachers, administrators, staff, and parents – and Joel is deeply committed to ensuring that it does.

Congress has failed to take responsibility for ensuring access to quality public schools for everyone, and that has to change. We can start to rebuild public education in America and close achievement gaps in resource-strapped schools if we:

  1. Increase funding and access to Pre-Kindergarten education programs, particularly in low-income communities and for single parents.
  2. Work towards creating a more equitable funding formula that reduces competitive grants and provides underperforming schools with the critical resources they need to provide a quality educational environment.
  3. Reduce our overreliance on standardized testing, or “teaching to the test,” and looking at more comprehensive criteria for evaluating student performance.
  4. Provide effective training tools and support mechanisms for all teachers, especially new teachers.
  5. Promote legislation, such as the DREAM Act, that includes students rather than excludes them.
  6. Make higher education more affordable by increasing Pell grants and allowing students to get the lowest possible interest rates on loans.