Education and Workforce Development

We believe:

  • Public education is the foundation for a strong democracy and the pathway out of poverty.  It has made it possible for poor children, many of them sons and daughters of immigrants and slaves to gain the skills required to make a better life for themselves and in the 20th century, it created the largest and most productive middle class in the history of the world.
  • Education should inspire; it should be fun; and it should teach us to be critical of what we know.  Education should not focus on answers to the questions we know, but to imagine the questions we don’t even know to ask.  Education should teach us to dream, to be creative, to create the jobs and solutions of the future. Quality public education should be accessible to everyone.
  • Schools should be community centers. Schools should be a place our children are excited to go to; where our communities gather; where learning takes place for all ages. The buildings and classrooms should be places that encourage inspiration and creative contemplation.  Schools should have classrooms that are diverse for the different types of learning styles.  Quality schools should be a few blocks away from all people who want to access them.
  • Early childhood learning opportunities give young children a head start.  All day kindergarten strengthens their preparation and provides working parents with a safe and secure environment for their children.  Adequate funding for public schools and after school enrichment ensures that the promise of equal education is fully realized.  And support for our public institutions of higher learning puts a college degree within reach of many of the state’s poorer residents.
  • Our education policy should have input from teachers and students, parents and community leaders so that it does not merely enrich a few testing companies, but our communities.
  • Our education policy should focus on quality schools for every child, early childhood development (ages 0 – 5), youth and dropout prevention programs that enable all kids to succeed and aim to eliminate the achievement gap – with academic, athletic, and cultural programs that focus on human development, a commitment to reducing class size, and a strong emphasis on parental involvement.
  • Teachers should have the resources to create a positive learning environment.  Teachers should have the time to coordinate with their peers, collaborate with experts and fellow teachers and the freedom to try to be innovative.  Teachers should have the dignity of being paid at a rate that reflects their critical role as professional development for future generations.
  • Students should have classrooms and teachers that match their learning styles rather than a one-size fits all approach to education.  Standardized testing should be used to assess a child’s learning style each year, progress in achieving relevant education goals and a guide to give that child the best opportunities; not a one size fits all fill in the oval test.
  • Education does not end with formal schooling and that, as our economy evolves, workers must have the skills required to secure employment in expanding sectors.  The private sector, unions and government have a role to play in equipping our workers with the skills they need to be successful in tomorrow’s economy.
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