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Herman Cain’s Views on Education
Cain would trim the bureaucracy, increase teachers’ accountability and ‘put kids first.’
Herman Cain is a businessman, politician, columnist, and radio talk show host from the state of Georgia. He is the former chairman and CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and spent time as both deputy chairman and chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In May of this year, Mr. Cain officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
Education is “the key”
On his campaign’s website, Cain articulates that he believes education to be the “key to unlocking a prosperous future.” As far as he is concerned, education starts and stops with the students in mind. He believes that the education system has become weighed down with administration that has “shifted the focus from educating students to maintaining an excessive level of bureaucracy through expanded unionization and regulation.” Mr. Cain thinks that it is time to “unbundle education” from the federal government and return it back to the local level it used to reside at in this country.
How Cain would improve education
Cain state that while most teachers are in the field of education to foster intellectual development for eager minds, not all are living up to their end of the bargain. He would implement a “system of accountability” that would reward those teachers whose students excel and better evaluate those whose students perform poorly. As Cain puts it, “Performance incentives work in business, and they will work in education, too.”
A critical component of improving education in the United States, according to Cain, is to “decentralize” the federal government’s control over it. He believes that children are best served when the teachers, parents and principals are making the day-to-day decisions, coupled with the leadership of local municipalities, school boards and states. He feels that flexibility and adaptability ought to override continuity. On his website he states, “What might work for a third grader in Oklahoma might not work for a third grader in Hawaii.”
Putting Kids First
“Kids first” is a common refrain from the former CEO. Cain feels that another way we can put kids first is to offer school choice as a real option for educational competition. This means expanding school vouchers and charter schools. Such measures, Cain claims, have proven time and time again to best serve the students, many of whom do not have the economic means of attending better schools.
For Cain, putting kids first means rewarding those teachers who enrich the lives of their students, and it means holding those accountable who do not. It means putting students before union interests, and it means keeping their development paramount.
From an interview Cain gave to The Daily Caller:
“Long term, the amount of money coming from the federal government relative to education going to the states would gradually decrease over time such that the states would be responsible, starting at the local level, for developing better education in their states. (The Department of Education) would be dramatically smaller. I’m a big believer in ‘take the problem closest to where the problem is,’ and you’ll find a better solution. Good education, in my view, starts at home and at the local level and it works its way up, not the other way around.”