Arianna Huffington on Education

2004 former Independent Challenger for CA Governor


Historically, education has been the great equalizer

In "Third World America" Arianna Huffington writes: "As bad as America's sewers, roads, bridges, dams, and water power systems are, they pale in comparison to the crisis we are facing in our schools. Nothing is quickening our descent into Third World status faster than our resounding failure to properly educate our children. This failure has profound consequences for our future, both at home and as we look to compete with the rest of the world in the global economy."

She writes: "Historically, education has been the great equalizer." That has been the incredible virtue of our public school system. We have given millions of young people the opportunity to get a good education in school and be able to go to college and use their potential. The springboard to the middle class and beyond has been education. It was a promise we made to all of our people.

Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

Education as great equalizer has gone terribly wrong

Historically, education has been the great equalizer. The path to success. The springboard to middle class--and beyond. But something has gone terribly wrong--and we've slipped further and further behind. Among 30 developed countries ranked by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, the US ranked 25th in math and 21st in science.

"Education," said Pres. Obama during his May 2010 commencement address at Hampton University, "is what has always allowed us to meet the challenges of a changing world." But he made it clear that the bar for meeting those challenges has been raised, and that a high-school diploma--formerly, in the president's words, "a ticket into a solid middle-class life"--is no longer enough to compete in what he called the "knowledge economy."

"Jobs today often require at least a bachelor's degree," he said; "the unemployment rate for folks who've never gone to college is over twice as high as for folks with a college degree or more."

Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p.114-115 , Sep 2, 2010

Single-payer education: feds fund; parents choose

What can we do to turn around this sorry state of affairs? A single-payer system of education. Single payer never made it out of the gate when it came to health-care reform. But we should bring it into education reform.

In a single-payer health-care plan, the federal government provides coverage for all. Patients don't go to a government doctor--they just have the government pay the bill. And that's how it would work with education. In a single-payer education plan, the federal government, in conjunction with the states, would provide an education allotment for every parent of a K-12 child. Parents would be then free to enroll their child in the school of their choice.

If we don't hold our health hostage to the value of our property, why do we do this with our children's education? The annual educational cost per child--equalized for urban and suburban school districts across each state--would come from current education funding sources.

Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p.179-180 , Sep 2, 2010

Not a strong America if 8th graders canít read

You cannot have a strong America if one third of eighth graders canít read. You cannot have a strong America if millions of our citizens donít have the basic resources to take care of their health. And you cannot have a strong America without strong families. And you cannot have strong families when you have two parents each working two-and-half jobs just to make ends meet. This is not a left-wing vision. The common good encompasses a lot of common good.
Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p. 10 , Apr 14, 2004

Prop 49 was nothing but a photo-op initiative

HUFFINGTON [to Schwarzenegger]: The passage of Prop 49 has not provided after school care for a single child in the state of California, because there was no funding stream. It was nothing but a photo opportunity initiative. It was nothing but a springboard for your run for governor. And it is really irresponsible for you tell us that you are providing after school care. Isnít it true that not a single child has gotten after school care because of Prop 49?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Our after school programs are providing after school programs for 200,000 kids. Proposition 49 was the responsible way of going about it to get after school programs. Because what the initiative says is, thereís a trigger mechanism, only when the state makes an additional $1.5 billion in revenue, then the program can get funded. Right now we have a financial crisis, thatís why itís not getting funded.

Source: Recall Debate, Cal. State Univ. at Sacramento , Sep 24, 2003

Books, not bars: fund teachers, not prisons

Q: How would you fund higher pay for teachers?

HUFFINGTON: Iím opposed to the so-called ďLeave No Child Behind Act: that the Bush administration has put forward. It is another unfunded mandate. And it is putting the emphasis on testing, instead of teaching. Instead of firing teachers, as this governor did, in order to have more money to reward his prison guard contributors, I will put teachers first. I will put books, not bars as my highest priority if Iím elected governor.

Source: Recall debate in Walnut Creek , Sep 3, 2003

Davis inappropriately spending $18M on ACLU school lawsuit

CAMEJO [to Huffington]: We are making advances in California on education. And even though Iíve been extremely critical of governor Gray Davis, he did put more money into education, you know? We are making an effort. We are making headway.

HUFFINGTON: I have to disagree here with praising Gray Davis. The governor is continuing to fight a class action suit brought by the ACLU to represent underprivileged students in the state. Our governor is spending $18 million of our money fighting that lawsuit.

Source: Recall debate in Walnut Creek , Sep 3, 2003

Equalize funding for charter schools to raise teacher pay

Q: In what form should higher pay for teachers be?

HUFFINGTON: I support higher pay for teachers, rather than prison guards, which is what we have at the moment. And I support a greater autonomy among school districts. Iím a passionate believer in charter public schools. As governor, I will equalize funding for pupil funding for charter school and make it possible for each charter school to give merit pay and to actually encourage the best teaching, the best creative teaching.

Source: Recall debate in Walnut Creek , Sep 3, 2003

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Page last updated: Apr 29, 2021