A good education is critical for success. While many of our country’s private and public academic institutions are regarded as the best in the world, there is a need to reform our educational system for our children in primary and secondary schools.
The key for successful reform rests in reviewing our educational systems in an independent, non-partisan dialogue. This is something that Democratic and Republican leaders have been unable to do over the last 20 years. Instead of working to benefit our children, the two-party system has instead politicized debates and increased the levels of bureaucracy in our educational system.
The Reform Party believes strongly in matching our educational system to maximize the technology available as well as the new ways of thinking in a digital age. This means less of an emphasis in our public institutions on schools that act more like factories, mass producing goods, and more like educational centers that help harness the individual skills and potential of students.
In an effort to best reform our educational system, we believe it is necessary to review the success and failures of the current system, identify the right kinds of benchmarks we want our schools to reach and expand the public-private partnership in education to help fuel innovation as well as future job growth here in America.
The Reform Party of Virginia's Education Reform Agenda Includes:
- Universal preschool programs and kindergarten are essential for starting our children off on the right foot. Investments in early childhood care and education save money down the line.
- Empower parents and older children. Parents and high school students are the consumers of education, but they have less and less power in education decisions. We need to change this dynamic and give parents more control over the education of their children.
- Enact policies to increase parental involvement in education. Studies have shown that the most successful students are the ones who have greater parental involvement.
- Create and support non-accredited schools that focus on blending a specialized and more personalized curriculum with project-based assessment and apprenticeship. The goal of these schools is to offer a skills-based learning environment for secondary school students who want to specialize in business, technology, science, engineering, health care and the arts.
- Treat and pay teachers as the important and respected professionals they are. We want to attract the best educators to Virginia. Therefore, we should make compensating our teachers a high priority.
- Make it easier for qualified professionals to teach specialized classes in Virginia secondary schools.
- Use vacant business buildings to help reduce classroom overcrowding, and reduce the long-term infrastructure costs to local school districts. These facilities can be fitted to handle more specialized learning programs, as well as be rented for adult learning and to help foreign-born students and adults master skills they need to be contributors to our communities.