Common Core is an example of government trying to fix education the same way it fixed healthcare: by putting politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests behind closed doors and letting them decide what works best for everyone else. After watching the current administration waste $173M to upend healthcare here in Maryland, this is not the time to rubber stamp new centralized federal guidelines on education without first examining their impact on our children's future.
A New Way Forward:
I support a moratorium on adopting Common Core in Maryland until teachers and parents have had sufficient time to publicly evaluate and debate the merits of the program. Instead of rushing to adopt the centralized standards of an untested, unproven federal program, Maryland should take a cautious "go-slow" approach. Our children's future should not be held hostage by a federal education program that threatens to withhold funding if parents and teachers refuse to subject their children to an experimental plan to lower the standards of public education in America. In my opinion, this is a flagrant example of heavy-handed government overreach to force a one-size-fits-all solution on parents and teachers that has the potential to compromise the overall quality of the education being provided to students.
Vocational training in high school. Not all children have the desire nor means to attend college. But there are still good-paying jobs available for those who want to learn a trade or technical skill. Maryland should help these students. There is a constant need for qualified plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, and people with non-programming technical computer skills, to name a few. Why not help high school students who are not college bound develop these kinds of marketable skills while attending high school and give them better a chance to succeed once they graduate? I would like to propose state-sponsored "vocational training" programs be made available in high schools by offering tax-incentives to businesses who partner with the state and provide qualified apprenticeships, internships, and mentoring programs for students about to transition into the working world. Upon graduation, these Maryland students can "hit the ground running" with real-world experience and competitive skills that will greatly increase their chances of finding better paying jobs and long-term careers.