During my time as a high school principal and Director of Valley Vocational tech center, I witnessed firsthand the need for a strong skilled labor force in our society. It is my belief that as part of our public education system we must expand our workforce development programs through the community college system. While a four-year education can be beneficial for some, it is not for everyone. By expanding our vocational programs in the community colleges, we can provide a viable option for the younger generation. Training our youth who choose to work in vocational and technical trades is necessary to cultivate a workforce so that our localities can continue to prosper.
I also support the limiting of standardized testing. Too often public schools solely focus their curriculum based on students passing state-mandated tests. By doing so, education providers are short-changing our youth in their development of real world, applicable skills that they will need for the future. Not every student is the same. Some may want to be doctors or lawyers, while others may want to take over the family farm or go to trade school. As a result, we must ensure the curriculum that is being practiced in our public schools facilitates a level of education that is suitable for all students, no matter their goals.
Additionally, we must ensure that our teachers are compensated fairly for their work. Our educators are providing our youth with the foundational skills that they will utilize for the rest of their lives. As a result, we must ensure that our educators are paid a livable wage so that they may continue to do what they love, which is critical to the success of future generations of Americans.
Lastly, it is my belief that parents, not the state, should have the right to decide what is best for the education of their children. If the circumstances are right for private schooling, parochial schooling, or homeschooling, the caretakers of those children should have the ability to decide what path is best for their loved ones.