EDUCATION

EDUCATION

Education is the key pathway for individuals to transcend poverty and for our nation to succeed economically and socially. We support the following as ele­ments of a successful public system of education:

  • Quality Head Start and other pre-kindergarten options
  • High-quality, passionate, caring teachers who are skilled, experienced, and culturally competent to work with low-income students
  • Well-managed, safe, organized schools with predictable policies and procedures
  • Instruction that is relevant and rigorous, that includes high level of engage­ment, high standards, and prepares students for college and careers
  • Increased funding—and more effective use of existing funding—that allows for:
    • Smaller classes
    • Individualized academic supports for students
    • Enough staff in the classroom to support all students and help them learn
    • Grouping by learning style
    • More technology resources like computers and internet access
    • More support for bilingual students
    • Guidance counselors
    • Enrichment programs such as art, music, poetry, and sports
    • Training in financial literacy, asset development, and entrepreneurship
    • Internships
  • Curriculum that includes the young people’s cultural history in an accu­rate and fair manner, life skills, and information about college access
  • Assessment measures that take into account different learning styles, are not too burdensome, and don’t put all the attention on the tests
  • Disciplinary policies that are used as learning opportunities, are more restorative than punitive, and that don’t serve as a pipeline to prison through expulsion
  • Greater community connection with the schools, engaging parents and family, police, and positive role models from the community
  • A college-going culture that offers early exposure to college and career options, and full information about college access
  • Multiple pathways to success, including college, technical trade schools, and internships. Each pathway should respect a student’s skills and inter­ests and not direct a student towards a single career pathway—college ver­sus trade schools, for example—based on race or income level
  • Second-chance alternative or charter schools for students who left high school without a diploma
  • A funding structure that does not favor wealthier communities

All of these elements should add up to schools in which every student knows that the teachers and other adults respect and care about them and are committed to their success.

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