I don’t know what to say about this comment. It would be my hope that anyone who has the education, experience, intelligence, capability and desire to serve, and as a result, decides to run for the highest political office, the leader of the largest free nation in the world, should have more sensitivity, empathy and reality than to say such a thing. So, Mr. Mitt Romney, is this part of your education policy?
You put out this huge white paper on your views on education and what you would do and there are only a few small differences from the current policy. You want to abolish unions and you continually state how there is too much federal spending and you would not support that. Give it back to the states and see what happens. Really? So you mean all the states who are broke and have cut and cut since they have less federal support and really less local support? The states like the one in which I live that uses property taxes to pay for schools and since home values have decreased, so have school budgets? You mean that money?
In a speech in Washington last week, Romney compared the American public education system to that of a third world country. Instead of the government trying to clean up how it allocates money and for what, such as STEM curriculum, innovation, career readiness, social/emotional wellness and graduation rate improvement, you would put money into vouchers for poor kids? Or some poor kids who can get into a coveted private school where there is a spot and who has a way to get there? Are you assuming there is an excellent private school just waiting to educate these at-risk children? Is it on the next block? And what do you propose for the neighborhood schools that need improvement that someone still attends? Should we take this money from them so they really can’t hire better teachers? You are going to give the money to the parents? How will that system of accountability work?
Mr. Romney happened to mention a few other things, such as that class size and accountability don’t matter, as markers for success and graduation rate. Yet he wants more transparency in testing etc. It is unclear how he intends to do this especially with reduced funds. The most infuriating thing he said however was this:
“Having two parents in a home makes an enormous difference,” Romney said. “And so if we’re thinking about the kids of tomorrow, trying to help move people to understand you know getting married and having families where there is a mom and a dad together has a big impact. And that’s, in my view, that is critical down the road.”
So what I ask is how do you intend to implement that circumstance, if that is so important? Are we going to have school admission that requires two parents be loving, caring and attentive? Is there going to be a license to parent? (I like that one!) Will there be monitoring at home to enforce good parenting so we know what happens behind closed doors?
It is not a secret that our current education system is in need of serious reform. Change is always difficult, painful and emotional. There are often many reasonable opinions and ways to do things that may work. I do think we can all agree that our children are our country’s most important asset. We need to get serious about education and stop talking and saying impossible and ridiculous things. If you don’t have something smart and reasonable to say, perhaps it is better to be silent.
I would love to have your reaction to these ideas. Where do we stand with educational policy reform?