As the son of a teacher, I care deeply about education. I grew up understanding the difference that a good educator can make in a child’s life, and I also learned that parents should have a strong voice in their children’s education. Democrats are at the mercy of powerful teachers’ unions, who over the past year have needlessly kept our children in remote learning and excessive COVID protocols. As a result, New Jersey students saw an over 30% decrease in educational attainment during the 2020-2021 school year, with lower income students disproportionately affected. Similarly, your ZIP code should not determine the quality of education that you receive, which is why I support funding students, not systems, and expanding school choice through vouchers.
As with most American institutions, identity politics has permeated our education system. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood and went to a diverse school. We grew up understanding that our race and gender do not define us, but Democrats are actively driving the country apart, starting with our schoolchildren. Shocking as this might seem to liberal arts college sociology professors, I believe that mathematics is not a structurally racist subject and that 5-year-olds should not be forced to classify themselves as oppressors or oppressed. Toxic ideas about race and gender have no place in the classroom, and I will fight from day one to use all federal levers at our disposal to put an end to it.
I also believe that we need to re-think what and how we teach our children. Our current system fails to properly identify the unique skill set of each student and portrays college as the only acceptable career path. This has led directly to our current dearth of skilled labor, such as welders and plumbers, and an oversaturation of underemployed college graduates. It has also contributed to the ballooning costs of college tuition, since colleges and universities can count on the federal government, hardly a paradigm of actuarial prowess, to guarantee loans for all students, regardless of major and future earning potential. The result is generations of college graduates saddled with crushing debt. If left to their own devices, Democrats will recklessly cancel all student debt, adding to the exorbitant national debt and bailing out their core constituents. I will instead fight to make sure that incentives are re-aligned so that high schoolers understand their full scope of options post-graduation, ensuring a healthy distribution of professionals in the industries of the future. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for education, so I will work to ensure that the federal government gives broader flexibility for states to choose the best fit.