Jon Huntsman: As President, I'll Modernize U.S. Education

Judy Hartnett's picture
Monday, January 2, 2012

One of the many reasons that people have lost trust in our nation's economic and political system is the inequality of economic opportunities afforded to our citizens.

Every boy and girl in America, no matter their socioeconomic background, deserves a fair chance to build a good career and improve their economic standing.

Tragically, today that is not the case. Millions of children are trapped in failing schools, sentenced to a life of unfulfilled potential. Every child has a genius within, and education must be the great equalizer that unleashes their God-given skills and levels the economic playing field.

Developing our human capital is also critical to ensuring that America remains competitive in the 21st-century global economy, and continues to produce the best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs.

My administration will seek to transform and modernize our education system by ending the current one-size-fits-all approach and instead focusing our efforts on how best to serve individual communities, individual schools and individual students.

This means, first and foremost, restoring local control. States and local districts are laboratories of innovation, and Washington must empower them to meet the unique needs of their students.

I was the first governor to reject the unnecessary federal overreach of No Child Left Behind - which imposed a multitude of burdensome mandates and regulations on states - and as president I will seek its full repeal.

Recognizing that competition breeds excellence, we must break down the federal barriers that inhibit states from maximizing school choice, which may include voucher programs, charter schools, or giving parents the option to choose between public schools.

 

Early childhood learning is critical for our students' long-term success, and the Head Start program has failed to meet its laudable goals. I will block grant Head Start funds to the states, allowing them to create unique childhood education programs. In Utah, I signed into law an all-day kindergarten program aimed at preparing at-risk children for school, which has been a tremendous success and can serve as a model for other states.

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