2020 gubernatorial dossier: Education

This is the fourth part of a series taking a deeper dive into various important topics in the 2020 Delaware gubernatorial election. On the 100-point scale I am using to grade candidates, education is worth 10 points. These will once again be presented in a randomized order.

If there is a topic of importance to all the candidates running for the state’s highest office, it’s education. Some spend more time on it than others, but they generally have something to say.

David Bosco: A good summary of Bosco’s views is that he places content over high testing scores. “We need to let teachers teach and allow children to learn,” he’s said as he checks off a number of reform-minded boxes in the areas of eliminating Common Core and teaching life skills. I think Bosco has the curriculum side down but I’d be curious to know how he would address the funding side of things.

Colin Bonini: In his general theme of “we can fix this” I haven’t seen a lot of specifics on how he would address education.

Bryant Richardson: Bryant touts what he calls the Education Responsibility Act, which he describes as,”A commitment to protect the future of our children, by designing an educational system and curriculum that is focused on the highest quality of education for all Delaware children. This includes support for students and their families through Education Empowerment Accounts. Teachers who display proficiency in helping children learn and overcome problems should be paid well for this exceptional talent.”

Richardson adds that, “our tax laws must allow parents the freedom to choose without penalty where their children learn, in public, private or home school environments.” This is going to be one where the devil is in the details, because it’s a sure bet Big Education isn’t going to like that. As a philosophy, though, it may be about as much of a first step as we can take right now toward “money follows the child.”

R. Scott Walker: In his rambling conversations on the road I have so far gleaned that Scott is a firm believer in online education, which will be “safer.” Teachers that can adapt to this will be successful, while stipends will be created for stay-at-home parents.

I suppose this stipend money comes from the savings of not having to maintain school buildings and the humongous tax dollars we’ll rake in from legalizing pot. </sarc>

Julianne Murray: Aside from remarking, “We need to be teaching our children HOW to think – not WHAT to think,” I have yet to find a more broad-based educational platform on Julianne yet.

David Graham: I’ve found even less on Graham, whose quiet entry into the race and slow preparation of a website have handicapped him with issue-minded voters like me.

Because it is a small state, Delaware could be a model for the rest of the country if we do things correctly. It’s easier to turn around a canoe than a battleship, and I think the best way of turning it around is through school choice as money follows the child. Public schools could still exist and they could continue to give a less and less thorough education on traditional subjects as they emphasize what is allowable under “cancel culture,” but they will do so to emptier and emptier classrooms. Finally they will get the point.

Parents used to scrimp and save to be able to afford a house in a desirable school district. Thirty years ago, we did just that and made it by about five blocks into a nice neighborhood elementary school that fed into one of the two most desired high schools in the Toledo Public Schools district. But we can go way beyond that and allow people trapped by economics in poorer zip codes to more easily find a way to give their kids the education they need. The right governor can make that a reality if he or she is willing to try.

Next up will be a special segment of the dossier as I discuss the Second Amendment.

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