Issue Position: Education
My father taught school for 33 years. One of the most important lessons I learned from him about education is that each child learns differently. We need more schools that understand this important fact; and we need to develop a rigorous curriculum, with an emphasis on critical thinking skills, not standardized tests, to help each student excel.
It is important to focus on small class sizes, parental involvement and supporting trained, experienced, accountable teachers. These are the education fundamentals that will increase high school graduation rates and reduce high school drop outs.
We must be innovative by encouraging more Career Technical schools, especially in Junior High, where drop out seeds develop. If we inspire more young people to become excited about a career path, they will be more likely to remain in school. In addition, we need to emphasize the importance of civic, art, choir, theater and related courses. These programs increase test scores in other classes and inspire young people to become more well rounded citizens.
We need to invest in more college scholarships so more students can afford to attend college or university. This is both an investment in our future and a way to expand local businesses.
In the Colorado State House, I sponsored a bill to update the Teacher of the Year award so that we could properly honor the best teacher of the year.