Jill Stein on Education
Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor
STEIN: To ensure that our students have a strong, secure economic future, how about we bail out the students instead of bailing out the banks for the fourth time? The Federal Reserve just announced its latest quantitative easing, where it will be spending $40 billion a month to bail out the banks for what's effectively the fourth bailout, yet we've really gone nowhere with these bailouts. It's time to bail out the students instead, so that way students can enter into their professional life, their careers, without the deep burden of debt that they currently now have. While we're at it, let's make public higher education free. We owe it to our young people to give them a good, strong start in life. And we know this pays for itself from the GI Bill.
Q: Should abortion be outlawed in the United States?
A: No, but providing birth control, sex education, and social services could help reduce the number of abortions.
I also support legalization of marijuana, ending war, and other bread-and-butter concerns for young people. This is a constituency that is just itching for a platform of this sort.
A: Our strategy has a lot to do with alternative media and selectively engaging with groups who have been screwed over by both parties. They don't need much convincing. Students, for one, they're there. Students are on the receiving end of generational injustice, because [many problems] will end up falling into the hands of the youth and young people--unfairness in jobs, a climate catastrophe--and we have to ask ourselves what kind of world we're making for them, how we're going to clean up this mess we've left for them. I mean, students and young people are really on the receiving end. What civilization devours its young? Because that's what we're doing. The profiteers are going after the young as a population to exploit. That's why the loans are so high; that's why young people have been put at the bottom of the priority list. They are victims of profiteering. We are all about fighting that. We think green jobs will help with this fight; we will forgive student debt.
We will honor the right to a tuition-free, quality public education from pre-school through college at public institutions. And we will forgive student loan debt left over from the current era of unaffordable college education .
A: To my mind, the issue here is not so much national versus local; the issue is more one of child-centered learning, and learning for lifetime education as opposed to teaching to the test. We focus on student needs, not corporate needs.
A: Our philosophy is to move things to the grassroots level; to move power to the grassroots from the government. It's a decentralization philosophy. At the national level, we should focus on preventing abuse of education rules.
A: Unfortunately, charter schools draw down on funding for our public schools, and they siphon off the more capable students and their families. At the same time they concentrate the real social problems in th public schools, which is guaranteed to collapse our public system from within. The advantages of charters ought to be features of all public schools: family engagement, additional resources and budget, and so on.
A: I oppose it.
Q: Is that a federal issue or should it be left to the states?
A: The separation of church and state is inherently a federal issue. It's hard to duck that. That is part of our Constitution. To favor one religion is to inherently favor the others. Government needs to be neutral in order to respect everyone's religion.
The funding of education is clearly at a crisis point. Years of neglect, fiscal mismanagement, and promotion of privatization have combined with a budget shortfall to seriously threaten the viability of our public education system. If we tilt toward privatization, it will produce a stratified collection of schools that will make education more expensive, separate schools from their communities, and lead inevitably to the abandonment of the concept of equal access to education. Party leaders are now actively promoting charter school encroachment.
Teachers are spending time trying to increase MCAS test scores rather than focusing on what students really need. State officials cite increases in MCAS scores as if this signifies educational progress. It doesn't. It merely means that educational resources are being diverted into teaching to the test.
The goal of education should be to educate the whole student for lifelong learning and success. The current obsession with high stakes testing distracts from addressing the profound barriers to learning that arise long before the child has walked through the classroom door, including poverty and unemployment, poor nutrition and community violence.
Jill Stein knows that education is the key to life-long success. A student who is only prepared to serve the short term business goals of the high tech industry is not fully prepared for long term success in life and work. The lasting value of an education often lies in developing teamwork and conflict resolution skills, understanding the lessons of nature and history, and readiness for civic leadership. Striking the right balance between true education and mere skill acquisition should be the responsibility of educators, not panels of high tech executives trying to solve their short-term business needs.
|Other candidates on Education:||Jill Stein on other issues:|
Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)