Arianna Huffington on Education
2004 former Independent Challenger for CA Governor
She writes: "Historically, education has been the great equalizer." That has been the incredible virtue of our public school system. We have given millions of young people the opportunity to get a good education in school and be able to go to college and use their potential. The springboard to the middle class and beyond has been education. It was a promise we made to all of our people.
"Education," said Pres. Obama during his May 2010 commencement address at Hampton University, "is what has always allowed us to meet the challenges of a changing world." But he made it clear that the bar for meeting those challenges has been raised, and that a high-school diploma--formerly, in the president's words, "a ticket into a solid middle-class life"--is no longer enough to compete in what he called the "knowledge economy."
"Jobs today often require at least a bachelor's degree," he said; "the unemployment rate for folks who've never gone to college is over twice as high as for folks with a college degree or more."
In a single-payer health-care plan, the federal government provides coverage for all. Patients don't go to a government doctor--they just have the government pay the bill. And that's how it would work with education. In a single-payer education plan, the federal government, in conjunction with the states, would provide an education allotment for every parent of a K-12 child. Parents would be then free to enroll their child in the school of their choice.
If we don't hold our health hostage to the value of our property, why do we do this with our children's education? The annual educational cost per child--equalized for urban and suburban school districts across each state--would come from current education funding sources.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Our after school programs are providing after school programs for 200,000 kids. Proposition 49 was the responsible way of going about it to get after school programs. Because what the initiative says is, thereís a trigger mechanism, only when the state makes an additional $1.5 billion in revenue, then the program can get funded. Right now we have a financial crisis, thatís why itís not getting funded.
HUFFINGTON: Iím opposed to the so-called ďLeave No Child Behind Act: that the Bush administration has put forward. It is another unfunded mandate. And it is putting the emphasis on testing, instead of teaching. Instead of firing teachers, as this governor did, in order to have more money to reward his prison guard contributors, I will put teachers first. I will put books, not bars as my highest priority if Iím elected governor.
HUFFINGTON: I have to disagree here with praising Gray Davis. The governor is continuing to fight a class action suit brought by the ACLU to represent underprivileged students in the state. Our governor is spending $18 million of our money fighting that lawsuit.
HUFFINGTON: I support higher pay for teachers, rather than prison guards, which is what we have at the moment. And I support a greater autonomy among school districts. Iím a passionate believer in charter public schools. As governor, I will equalize funding for pupil funding for charter school and make it possible for each charter school to give merit pay and to actually encourage the best teaching, the best creative teaching.
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Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)
Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)