Editor’s note: Julio Fuentes is president and CEO of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options. This is the fifth post in our #schoolchoiceWISH series.
K-12 education is one of the hottest issues during every state’s legislative session. But when it comes to ed reform, bipartisanship does not come easy. Too often, when that reform bill hits the floor, whether it’s on accountability, choice or funding, civility goes out the door and the mentality of “us against them” takes over.
The nasty and insulting remarks that are hurled would send any child in school straight to the principal’s office. But bickering over whose agenda is more robust won’t get things resolved. And at the end of the day, we all want the best for our children.
So this is my school choice wish for the year 2014: I wish legislators across the country would work together to approach education reform with a bipartisan mindset. I wish for them not to let their party’s viewpoints blind them from making the best decisions that are beneficial for our children.
It’s clear that’s what the public wants.
According to the Pew Research Center’s recent policy survey, “Overall, 66% [of Americans] say either that the education system in this country needs to be completely rebuilt (21%) or that it requires major changes (45%).” When the findings are narrowed down to political parties, they show “about two-thirds of Republicans (65%), Democrats (67%), and independents (67%) agree that the education system needs at least major changes.”
Our legislators need to react to these numbers. They represent us. We elect them and rely on them to make decisions that will ensure a better future for our students. Education reform is not just a Republican agenda; Democrats too want to see changes in America’s neighborhood schools. Instead of all this fighting on the floor, our leaders need to change to make real transformation. Continue Reading →