Like every parent, I want my children to have the best possible education. As the mother of two children who have graduated from public schools in Connecticut, and another who is in high school, I know that our schools and teachers need our full support.
Too many of our children are not receiving the kind of rigorous foundation that they will need for good jobs – jobs that will allow them to build a stable future for themselves and their families.
Insisting on results and accountability. We must look hard at the performance of our current education system and figure out how to deliver better results for children. The limitations of the last decade of “teaching to the test” as well as the impact of budget cuts at the local, state, and national levels, demand that we do things differently. It is not enough to have admirable goals – we must insist on real results. That is why I believe that we need to work more closely with business as well as education professionals to prepare children for the future.
Preparing for 21st Century jobs. We need to revamp our education system to equip our children for 21st century jobs, which require solid grounding in math, science, and technology. I support greater incorporation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum as well as increased emphasis on mentoring and apprenticeships to put that knowledge to use in real world settings. A system of strong vocational training in high school, combined with apprenticeships and 1 or 2 years of post high school education, would create a talent pool of highly skilled workers who will be able to compete globally in the new economy.
Parental involvement. Good government alone cannot improve our schools. Nothing can take the place of an involved parent – to turn off the TV set or the video games and reinforce the value of education.
Increase scientific research. I am also committed to funding basic scientific research – recent proposals to gut the nation’s R&D spending are shortsighted and wrong. Every industry in America, as well as every research institution and university would tell you that this country’s R&D spending is essential to our nation’s continued competitiveness and innovation.