I have three children that I must feed and put through school. Just like you, I work hard to make it happen. However, the worst part about it is my older kids are having to seek work in other states and currently have no choice but to steer clear of Rhode Island. Our kids are leaving and seeing little reason to return.
Currently 70% of Rhode Island college graduates are leaving Rhode Island once they graduate. (Source: USA Today)
AS PARENTS, my wife and share the same values and expectations for our kids as most families in our town do.
My Goals reflect many of the things that have lead Massachusetts to #1 in education in America. Sadly, though it’s only a border away, Rhode Island and Newport’s school scores have continued to drop each year.
1. Seek paths to give parents more choices in education. This includes visiting options such charter schools, and school vouchers. (It’s about the kids, not union leadership)
2. Implementing stronger STEAM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) into public schools.
3. Prepare our kids for a changing world where education and hands on experience will be essential.
4. ENCOURAGE THE FUTURE OF TRADES, and TRADE SCHOOLS. According to recent CNBC, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes reports, skilled labor is the most declining and sought after employment in the country. Tied with that, and thanks to workforce competition, they are also becoming the fastest growing salaries as well. Electricians, tool & die makers, plumbers, assembly, marine -automotive, aviation maintenance, HVAC tech, and many more. Many successful and innovative school systems are realizing this early.
I will seek to legislation that would create a better relationship with businesses and our future business leaders (our students) – a common sense initiative that other more progressively diverse states are implementing.
A few of my education priorities include:
A. Providing the opportunity for students be taught or mentored by business leaders throughout the state.
B. Offering class credits for students to intern at some businesses, providing students with real world experience and small businesses the opportunity to invest in their future workers.
C. Offering more competitive business courses in schools that teach students how to start a business, including management, development, and marketing.
D.) Teaching our kids how to handle money, avoid debt, balance a checkbook, invest, time management , and grow their money as the world ahead will be much more challenging economically than it has been in the past. This would be intertwined with the reality that Rhode Island is not competing with other states and the world in sciences, math, and engineering.
I will seek to implement real solutions based upon the models of better performing states, and the standards that they implement and expect from teachers and students. Overall, we need more accountability so that good teachers are rewarded and failing teachers no longer get a “pass”. We need to focus on student outcomes or our students will not reach their full potential.