STUDENT-CENTERED EDUCATION

Our education system should be student-centered. Policy development should start with the admission that our children are unique. One-size-fits-all, top down education does not work. We need to give parents choice in how they educate their children and educators choice in how they do their jobs. We need to focus on performance and embrace the reality that healthy competition between students, teachers, schools and districts drive excellence.

 

GREATER CHOICE.
IN COMMUNITIES ALL ACROSS OUR STATE COMPANIES COMPETE FOR OUR BUSINESS. FOR INSTANCE, IN ONE TOWN THERE MIGHT BE 5 OR 6 DIFFERENT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS. IF YOU HAVE THIS MANY CHOICES ON SOMETHING SO INCONSEQUENTIAL AS WHERE TO BUY A HAMBURGER, SHOULDN’T PARENTS HAVE MORE CHOICES ON HOW THEIR KIDS ARE EDUCATED?

A CHILD SHOULD NOT BE DESTINED TO A POOR EDUCATION BECAUSE OF HIS ZIP CODE OR HER PARENTS’ INCOME LEVEL. EVEN IN HIGH PERFORMING DISTRICTS, KIDS HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS AND THRIVE IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS.

FEWER STRINGS.
TEACHERS GO INTO THE CLASSROOM TO TEACH, NOT TO ADMINISTER ENDLESS TESTS OR MINDLESSLY RECITE A CURRICULUM PREPARED IN A BUREAUCRAT’S OFFICE. INSTEAD OF MICROMANAGING THEM, WE SHOULD ALLOW TEACHERS AND INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS MORE FREEDOM TO EXPERIMENT, DICTATE CURRICULUM CONSISTENT WITH COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS AND COLLABORATE AND SHARE WHAT IS WORKING WITH EDUCATORS ACROSS THE STATE.
REWARD PERFORMANCE.
INDISCRIMINATELY THROWING DOLLARS AT EDUCATION ON THE BASIS OF AN ARBITRARY FORMULA DOESN’T WORK AND ISN’T FAIR TO THE TAXPAYER. THE STATE SHOULD WORK HAND-IN-HAND WITH EDUCATORS TO DEVELOP A SYSTEM THAT REWARDS TEACHERS, SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS FOR CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENTS. IN THIS SCENARIO, EDUCATORS ARE NOT NECESSARILY COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER SO MUCH AS THEY ARE COMPETING AGAINST THEMSELVES.