Issue Position: For Free and Quality Education
Free and quality education is a basic human right from infants in day care to students in universities. Working parents should be entitled to safe and stimulating day care for their infants and, as in most industrialized countries, university education should be free for those who qualify for and want to avail themselves of it. Until we institute such a program, all university students should be given very liberal repayment terms for their student loans that come with very low interest rates.
In lieu of university education, which not every student qualifies for, or desires, there should be support of apprenticeship programs and state and federal job training for those who want to learn a skill that doesn't involve putting on a U.S. military uniform and learning how to kill other people.
We should bring our troops home from all countries where our troops are deployed to promote occupation, corporate greed and empire.
No Child Left Behind -- a Democratic as well as Republican plan -- should be repealed, and teachers, schools and school districts should be free to respond to the needs of their classrooms and communities and not be limited to teaching to stringent performance-based tests in order to receive federal money.
NCLB is also a recruiting tool for the U.S. military, as it allows military recruiters into schools and permits the schools to administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which is a military competence test. NCLB does not prepare our children for university. It is aimed at privatizing poorly performing schools while also funneling students directly to the military.