Colin Powell on Education
Secretary of State (Pres. Bush Cabinet)
We continued to meet resistance in certain urban areas. Liberal school administrators and teachers claimed that we were trying to ďmilitarizeĒ education. Yes, Iíll admit, the armed forces might get a youngster more inclined to enlist as a result of Junior ROTC. But society got a far greater payoff. Inner-city kids, many from broken homes, found stability and role models in Junior ROTC. They got a taste of discipline, the work ethic, and they experienced pride of membership in something healthier than a gang. Until 1993, there were still no Junior ROTC programs in any public school in New York City. Seven NYC schools presently have programs. The program can provide a fresh start for thousands of kids, particularly those from minorities living in crime-plagued ghettos. Junior ROTC is a social bargain.
Letís not be afraid of standardized testing for students. Letís not be afraid of testing teachersí qualifications. Letís not be afraid of charter schools. Letís not be afraid of using private scholarship money to give poor parents a choice that wealthy parents have. Letís not be afraid of home schooling. Letís experiment prudently with school voucher programs to see if they help. What are we afraid of? Letís use innovation and competition, good old American innovation, good old American competition to help give our children the best education possible.
Gov. Bush now offers the leadership [in education] that he has demonstrated in Texas to the nation. In pursuing education reform, Gov. Bush has reached out to all Texans -- white, black, Latino, Asian, Native American.
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