As we enter the season for our national elections, we should all know the education policies of the two major parties. I’ve culled the following from the Republican Party Platform and the Democratic Party Platform.
I am not commenting on either one. I’ve tried to represent each one fairly.
Republican Party Position on Education
The federal government has no role in Education; the Constitution gives it no role in education. We are working to repeal the numerous federal regulations which have interfered with state and local control of public schools.
Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing, We support a constitutional amendment to protect that right from interference by states, the federal government, or international bodies such as the United Nations. Parents should be able to choose from options including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools. Parents should have financing mechanisms such as education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tuition tax credits. the bulk of federal money through Title I for low-income children and through IDEA for children with special needs should follow the child to whatever school the family thinks will work best for them.
We are opposed to national standards and assessments.
Teachers should be protected against frivolous lawsuits and should be able to take reasonable actions to maintain discipline and order in the classroom.
A good understanding of the Bible is indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry. We want to replace “family planning” programs for teens with sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.
Rigid tenure systems should be replaced with a merit-based approach in order to attract the best talent to the classroom.
The policies and methods that have actually made a difference in student advancement:
- Choice in education;
- STEM subjects and phonics;
- career and technical education;
- ending social promotions;
- merit pay for good teachers;
- classroom discipline;
- parental involvement; and
- strong local leadership
Public policy should advance technical institutions, online universities, life-long learning, and workbased learning in the private sector.
Private sector participation in student financing (student loans) should be restored.
Higher Ed accreditation should be decoupled from federal financing, and states should be empowered to allow a wide array of accrediting and credentialing bodies to operate.
Democratic Party Position on Education
Those who currently have student debt will be able to refinance their loans at the lowest rates possible.
Borrowers with student loans will be able to discharge their debts in bankruptcy.
We will continue to crack down on for-profit schools (K12 and Higher Ed).
We will make the investments to provide every family in America access to high-quality childcare and high-quality preschool programs.
We will hold schools, districts, communities, and states accountable for raising achievement levels for all students.
Standardized test scores will be used to inform instruction, not as a basis for refusing to fund schools or to close schools or for teacher and principal evaluations.
We will ensure that teachers receive the tools and ongoing professional development they need to succeed in the classroom.
We will invest in high-quality STEAM classes, community schools, computer science education, arts education, and expand link learning models and career pathways.
We will advocate for labor and public assistance laws that ensure poor parents can spend time with their children
We will expand Title I funding for schools that serve a large number or high concentration of children in poverty.