Colin Powell on Education

Secretary of State (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


Promise Four: Marketable skills through effective education

Particular supports are needed to enhance skills and readiness for work. These include school reform efforts (to ensure that students are engaged in relevant, challenging, and interesting learning) and education about economics and business, internships, work study, vocational and career counseling, and on-the-job experience that expose them to career opportunities and job skills.
Source: Americaís Promise Web Page , Jan 8, 2001

Believes in prayer, but not mandated in schools

A firm believer in God and prayer, Powell nevertheless believes that "prayer fundamentally belongs in the home and in the church," while a pledge of allegiance followed by a moment of silence might be appropriate to a school setting. He is profoundly opposed to rules that dictate how a prayer might be offered in school.

"The church," says Powell, "can play a very valuable role by teaching the difference between right and wrong, by teaching people to treasure other people. And frankly, the Ten Commandments is about the best value system you could come up with."

Source: Powell & the American Dream, by Cummings&Rudnicki, p. 14 , Nov 1, 1995

Junior ROTC is a social bargain; expand it in high schools

In 1992, I asked for a plan for increasing Junior ROTC. We wound up with approval for funding Junior ROTC in 3,500 high schools, [an expansion from the previous 1,500].

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.

Source: My American Journey, by Colin Powell, p. 541 , Jan 1, 1995

Supports charter schools, vouchers, home schools

If we truly believe they are all our children, then all of us must be willing to spend more to repair our schools and spend more to pay our teachers better. But we must also be open to new ideas.

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.

Source: Speech at the Republican convention , Jul 30, 2000

Other candidates on Education: Colin Powell on other issues:
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Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
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George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Page last updated: Oct 26, 2021