- California schools are failing our children with just 30% of children proficient in math and 50% proficient in reading.
- Schools should be first and foremost for children not adults
- Parents need more choice about where they send their children to school
- We need to bring education into the 21st century with common sense reforms to the school day, school year, and the personalization of education
California’s schools are failing our children. Just 30% of public school children in California are proficient in math; less than 50% are proficient in reading. This is unacceptable. The reason for this is obvious: somehow teachers’ unions and elected officials forgot that schools are supposed to be, first and foremost, for educating children, not coddling adults. Governor Gavin Newsom works for the teachers’ unions, not for the children, or their parents.
Newsom and many school districts went too far on Covid. It was reasonable to take precautions early in the pandemic to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed. But the continued masking of children and the demand for vaccination against a virus that hurt children the least was unreasonable. The shutdown of schools was devastating to children. Nobody stood up for the kids. I will.
My parents were public school teachers. My mother was a teachers’ union rep. But nobody hates bad teachers more than good teachers. If teachers are going to have tenure then we need a way to get rid of bad teachers. Most importantly, parents need more choice for where to send their kids to school.
As governor, I’m not going to let the teachers’ unions dictate how our schools are run. I’m going to fight for parents and all kids, including the ones being failed by both the system and their parents. I’m going to significantly increase school choice. I will raise standards and enforce them.
Our schools are stuck in the 19th Century. I’m going to bring them into the 21st Century. We need to reform the school day and school year. The current school day doesn’t work for parents or children. The school day should mirror the workday so working parents can take their children to school and pick them up.
The school day should be longer so younger children can rest during the school day and older children can get proper physical exercise. The school year must be longer than nine months. There should be a summer break, but the current summer break is far too long, putting a strain on working families, depriving children the time they need to learn, and causing learning loss. And education must be personalized. Not all students are going to get PhDs. We need better vocational education, while also teaching children the basics.
Education is controversial. I know how to build agreement among all the different societal groups. I will create a “citizens’ jury” where hundreds of ordinary citizens can debate these issues in 2023 and 2024, and build consensus for lasting reform.