I support all candidates who support public education.
In the 79th district in Pennsylvania, there is an exceptional candidate for the state legislature.
Richard Flarend is a physicist on the faculty at Penn State Altoona who has played an active role in civic matters.
This is what he says about education:
State funded public education is in the constitution, and for good reason. We need education to provide opportunities both for kids and for adults who find themselves needing a new career. But state funded is different from state control. We don’t want a one-size-fits-all solution from Harrisburg to problems that we don’t even have in Altoona.
Our local schools in Blair County are all doing very well, have high graduation rates, and budgets under control except for the resources wasted in standardized testing. There is nothing broken that needs to be fixed by Harrisburg, except to get rid of standardized testing and No Child Left Behind.
Most important, WE MUST return the control over teacher and student evaluation to the local school district. We pay too much for testing, and data management. The tests take up too much of the school year and narrow the curriculum too much.
The state and federal departments of education should be resources for the local schools, not top-down micromanagers.
We need to mandate parental involvement.
I’m a huge supporter of GACTC, and I have taken a vocational class there myself. We need a much greater emphasis on vocational skills in today’s world.