Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tim Kaine Loves Public Schools. So Does His Wife Anne, Who is Virginia’s Secretary of Education | Diane Ravitch's blog

Tim Kaine Loves Public Schools. So Does His Wife Anne, Who is Virginia’s Secretary of Education | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Tim Kaine Loves Public Schools. So Does His Wife Anne, Who is Virginia’s Secretary of Education


Hillary Clinton’s choice for her running mate is Tim Kaine, Senator from Virginia. Tim Kaine is one of the few people in American politics who has been elected mayor (of Richmond, Virginia), governor, and senator.
He is also a steadfast supporter of public education, even though he graduated from a Jesuit high school. His own children attended primarily black schools in Richmond. His wife is now Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virgina.
This is what he wrote three years ago about his life as a public school parent in Richmond.
Anne and I are now empty-nesters. Combined, our three kids spent 40 school years in the Richmond Public Schools. While we both interact with the school system in our professional lives, we’ve learned even more from back-to-school nights, parent-teacher conferences, attending school events and pulling crumpled notes to parents out of our kids’ backpacks. The lessons learned as parents have made me think about what works and what doesn’t work in Pre-K-12 education. Here are seven changes I’d like to see:
It’s about the individual!
Most policy debate these days seems to be about charter schools or high-stakes testing. But I’m convinced that the most important reform has been under our noses since 1975, when legislation was passed to guarantee children with diagnosed disabilities receive individualized learning plans tailored to meet their specific needs.
Each child brings a mix of strengths and challenges to the classroom. Let’s use the insight gained through advances in educating kids with disabilities to leverage new technologies and teaching methods that can individualize learning for each child.
Early childhood education works
My daughter was able to attend a year of high-quality pre-K in our city schools. This experience made me a believer, and it’s one of the reasons why I greatly expanded pre-K for at-risk 4 year olds when I was governor.
The research is powerful — if you invest in high-quality programs that coordinate with K-12 curricula and have mandatory teacher standards, the gains from early education are lasting. It’s also important that we focus on coordinating investments made in early childhood programs — such as Head Start — to ensure we are effectively using our funding, eliminating any waste and bolstering the structure of our education system.
The article goes on to add other recommendations, including the importance of arts education and the necessity of reducing testing.
His article ended like this:


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