A: I do support school choice. Common Core was pushed through by unelected bodies and businesses, not in the legislation in accordance with our constitution. Not only was it unconstitutional, but it was underhanded. It was not led by parents and educators, I don't know anyone who doesn't think that parents and educators working together know better how their children learn. Educators who see these kids everyday should have a say in how they teach, not be given a curriculum and told that's how they're going to teach. I've been around the state and seen the private schools, they are flexible and have a variety of models, while including the curriculum that those educators developed directly. I have actually toured public, charter, and private schools--finding that private schools are more flexible in how they teach using a variety of different models to fit the class.
Abeler: Strongly Disagree
He called for the repeal of the federal Common Core education standards for states and bashed so-called ObamaCare, but didn't call for a full-on repeal of the healthcare program.
"The current nationwide trend is to centralize federal oversight of education programs. Lured by the bribe of 'free' money, states are willing to implement Common Core's mediocre standards, give up state and local decisionmaking, and surrender private student information to national data banks. So far, Minnesota is still in charge of its education destiny. But for how long? Looking around, we see that many other states have submitted to an untested, experimental, one-size-fits-all model. Already we are hearing stories of buyers' remorse.
"To preserve the integrity of our K-12 system I have prepared legislation that would create a firewall between Minnesota state government and the federal government. I believe Minnesotans need to be allowed to run their own state."
A: One assignment I clearly want is a seat on the Education Committee. I've been very involved with inner-city education. What that's allowed me to see is, we can do better. We can achieve better results with a little bit more focus. I compare our results to similar results in the inner-city high schools, then I look at how much money we've spent on those schools. So, I want to focus on allocating our dollars to areas that work. I want to measure and do better in education. We have to do it; the status quo is not an option.
Q: What about "No Child Left Behind"?
Q: I don't believe the federal government should be dictating what second graders should be reading. I'd like to see some changes in simple things, such as, there is a program in Minnesota called "Minnesota Reading Corps." Their philosophy is, first you learn to read, then you read to learn. It's really simple: By third grade, you need to learn to read at a third-grade level.
We know that our exceptional citizens, who are more inventive, harder working, and more productive than people anywhere, have been the most important contributors to our state's economic progress and social vitality. Most of us agree that our citizens' superior educations have been crucial to our previous successes.
And many of us agree that providing all Minnesotans with the best, most advanced, and yet affordable educational opportunities will be even more essential to their future success, and thus to ours.
I'll say it again. Since FY80-81, real state spending for all of postsecondary education has been higher than it is today. My budget would add $240 million in higher ed. funding for the next biennium. That counts as spending increase, which, technically, it is. However, it falls over $100 million short of restoring the funding cut from FY10/11; and it still leaves state support for higher education hundreds of million dollars below the real levels 30 years ago.
Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
A: Undecided .
Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
A: The rhetoric raised by that question... somehow itís tax breaks for the rich or education. No, first we need to fully fund special education -- no question about that. As an urban mayor I understood what unfunded mandates did to a community. In the end you have to figure out a way to work together to build coalition.
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