Providing a first rate education to ALL of our children is absolutely essential to our continued progress, as it benefits all of us when talents that might not otherwise be nurtured are given the encouragement and tools to flourish.
In fact, I believe that our capitalistic system is morally justifiable only when every child is given a real chance for success. Teachers are of course the foundation of our education system and they must be supported in every way that helps them produce graduates that have the skills to contribute in our modern technological economy. We are not getting the job done right now. Compared to the rest of the world US students are not faring very impressively and their math skills are particularly poor. Reading and math skills are paramount and non-negotiable, but other scientific and technological skills must be honed as well.
In the last few years many new state laws have passed concerning teacher licensing and accreditation, and for the most part these laws have loosened the requirements for licensing. I feel strongly that this is the wrong direction for us to be traveling. I am instead for increased licensing requirements and more rigorous education in general for future teachers. (However, I am not talking about new requirements that would eliminate present teachers). I want teachers to possess an education and an expertise that will make them the envy of our society, so that all parents and students will respect them and take education seriously. I am also for less spending on sports and extracurricular activities as I believe that we need to make it more clear to our children that the purpose of school is education. I am against the concept of tenure in our schools, as I believe that if a teacher is not performing well that it can have a chilling effect on our children. All it takes is one math teacher who is no longer engaged for some reason, and many children in that class will get left behind and never be able to catch up.
I favor moving the burden of paying for education away from real estate taxes and to the State in general, and am happy to say that we have started to do that with the most recent budget. I will continue to support this and increased funding for our neediest students. I am not opposed to spending more per capita to improve education for those that are now receiving the short end of the stick.