This is my final post. I’d like to thank Eduwonk for having me as a guest on behalf of Senator John McCain. I’ve truly enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of a “living” education conversation. There is nothing like a healthy dialogue to get people excited and talking about an important issue.
I have been involved in education issues all my life, and I am a believer in education. I am the daughter and sister of educators (My Dad was the first Black Assistant Superintendent of the Little Rock, Arkansas School District, two of my sisters were public school teachers and my mother is a retired public school teacher). I have been a DC business owner, Financial Director of a nonprofit organization; and, for the last twelve years, I have happily lead DC Parents for School Choice, an organization that I founded. Our mission is to empower parents by providing them information regarding all kinds of educational opportunities for their children…. wherever they choose to enroll them- traditional public schools, public charter schools, scholarships to private schools, homeschool, virtual schools, etc.. I passionately believe in a quality education for all children and have worked hard to make that happen.
My passion for education has led to many opportunities and, most recently, the opportunity to be a part of Senator John McCain’s education team. I am a believer in Senator McCain because I am a believer in his education priorities for improving education. I know under his leadership, we will see children learn in quality schools with excellent teachers, now and into the future. Senator McCain is committed to
· Building the national corps of excellent teachers and empowered principals;
· Supporting state efforts for consistent, high academic standards and judge progress by student achievement gains;
· Supporting family demands for high quality early care and pre-school;
· Making tutoring a reality for students, not a penalty for schools;
· Paving the way for educational innovation and technology in the classroom to customize instruction and learning; and
· Ensuring high school students are prepared for college or career success.
I listened to Senator Obama last night. Everything he said about education sounded pretty good. He talked about a world-class education system. He talked about higher pay for teachers. He talked about higher standards and accountability. He said that every child should have the chance for a great education. And, finally, he always talks about change. This sounds great. But, when I have listened carefully to Senator Obama (or members of his team) explain what these things mean, I am disappointed. If he is unwilling to challenge the status quo; unwilling to provide students options when they are attending failing schools (while his own daughters attend elite private schools); unwilling to articulate what high standards and accountability mean; and unwilling to link higher salaries for teachers to improved student achievement, these ideas appear empty.
John McCain believes that every American student should have access to the education that will enable them to participate fully in service to their family, their country, and the noble purposes of a lifetime. And, he has not been afraid to articulate what this means. Furthermore, he believes that our public education system must be built around the unique hopes and talents of students and not around the tired rules and constraints of a system that fails far too many. He believes education is the key to our future…and, so do I.
– Guestblogger Virginia Walden Ford, Education Policy Adviser, McCain08