Nobody, least of all conservative republicans, likes embrace the fact that there is an opportunity gap in America. It is harder for African-American or Hispanic kids to get ahead in life than for White kids. It is harder for rural or inner-city kids to have the same opportunities that suburban kids have. But I believe that we as Republicans should embrace this problem. We understand that education is the key to getting ahead in life, but we also understand that America’s antiquated, unionized school system does not provide the answer.
- Provide a nation-wide voucher program. Every young person should have the opportunity to go to the best school for him or her self, regardless of their family’s income. No child is the same, and they should have the option to pick the best learning environment for themselves, whether that is public school, private school, charter school, magnet schools, home schooling, etc. This would go a long way in ensuring that African-American children, Hispanic children, Rural Children, and Inner City Children all have a fair chance at the American Dream.
- Take labor unions out of the public school systems. Unions served an important function during the industrial revolution, but that era has passed, and under no circumstance should they have been allowed into classrooms. Teachers Unions like the NEA and AFT have blocked improvement in our schools for long enough. It’s time for us to bring our classrooms into the 21st century, and that starts by abolishing teacher’s unions once and for all.
- Bring technology into poor districts. I’ve been to a number of high schools all across SC, and one thing that I’ve noticed is a little disturbing. Schools in wealthy districts have cutting edge technology, 1:1 computing, smart boards, and Skype lessons at home. In poorer districts, 10 kids will have to share an old Macintosh from 2004 and take notes from an old light projector. Every student should have equal access to the technology they need to get the most out of their educational experiance.
These three proposals will not totally fix the opportunity gap, but they will go a long way in minimizing it’s effects and giving more children a chance to live out the American dream.