Chester, our bulldog, hates back-to-school time. It means his two best buddies, my sons Thor and Rolf, are suddenly gone every day. It’s a tough life for a dog left behind.
It’s even tougher for a child left behind.
There was a time not long ago that every state in the nation looked to Minnesota for innovation and excellence in K-12 education. Today, we have many very fine schools in Minnesota (and thousands of awesome teachers), but we’re no longer the national leader in policy or innovation.
We can do so much better for our kids.
It’s time we stopped thinking about education like bureaucrats and started thinking about education from the perspective of the customers of education—parents and students.
My philosophy on education is simple and consistent with my vision for Minnesota: Take power away from state government and return it to the people.
- We must eliminate state mandates and enable school boards and teachers to make significant decisions that matter to parents and students
- We must provide families with real choice about their children’s education
- We must dramatically simplify the K-12 funding formula that has been created by decades of political deals
- We must stop handcuffing teachers with mandates and decrees from on high and treat them like the professionals they are
- We must ensure that our schools are teaching what is factual and fair and not teaching anyone’s political agenda
Enabling families more say in their children’s education won’t do much for Chester, but it will be a giant leap forward for our kids. And that’s all that should matter in our education policy.