Our parents were told, we were told, and we have told our children that education is the key to success. We want to have the best schools and best colleges.
To get the best, we have to support our schools and universities. The Kirwan Commission has made strong recommendations, but there is more we can do. I propose the following to ensure our schools are the best in the country and expand access to higher education, for all.
- We must ensure funding to improve our schools’ physical plant. Our schools range in quality of repair and some need drastic measures to protect against lead and mold. Others have doors that cannot even close or insufficient air conditioning. We have to create safe, healthy places to learn for learning to succeed.
- We have to give our teachers more autonomy in instruction. We have to cut the number of assessments. And allow teachers to teach the material and not the test.
- We must expand access to higher education. Recent increases in funding for community college students is a major step forward. But we have to continue increasing access through dual-enrollment programs and by cutting costs across the state.
- We must give our universities more autonomy in curriculum and program design. To create a new program today can take years and result in costly litigation for the school. We must allow our colleges and universities to respond to what the market wants from our students.
Our students deserve the best, and we can deliver it for them with commitment, forethought, and common sense.