Newt Gingrich's Education Platform
Former Speaker Gingrich openly favors rigorous mathematics and science instruction in public schools. According to OnTheIssues.org, Gingrich also is in favor of introducing a competitive system that forces both schools and individual teachers to contend for funds and jobs. He has been a vocal supporter of allowing public schools to permit prayer in the classroom. He has championed the idea that we need more learning options in this country, and a specific idea he endorses is a community college-run charter school in each city. He also believes that offering coupons to send kids to schools that work best is the answer for parents who are frustrated with their child's current failing school.
Reaching Across the Aisle
In 2009 Gingrich teamed with two unlikely allies to promote their shared view of education reform: civil rights activist Al Sharpton, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan. After the three had visited a number of U.S. schools that were implementing education reforms, on November 15, 2009 they appeared together on NBC's Sunday morning news and interview program Meet the Press. During their interview Gingrich said:
"Education is the number one factor in our future prosperity, it's the number one factor in national security and it's the number one factor in [our] young people having a decent future. I agree with Al Sharpton, this is the number one civil right of the 21st century."
Speaker Gingrich went so far as to applaud President Obama last year for some of his efforts in education reform.
Newt Gingrich praised President Barack Obama for his effort to make public schools more accountable and called Education Secretary Arne Duncan "a serious innovator." But the former House speaker said the nation needs much more "profound, deep change" in education to compete with China and India.
"The movement that would achieve that can't just be the presidency," Gingrich said in an interview for the POLITICO video series "The Politics of America's Youth." "That's where Obama doesn't get it. It can't even just be the Congress. It's got to be school boards, city council, state legislature, county commission, governorships."
"To Save Americaâ¦"
Gingrich's 2010 book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, states, "We must be an intellectually hungry, morally strong, and urgently demanding nation with an education system capable of responding to a voracious American desire to learn."
In his 2007, Real Change, Speaker Gingrich had this to say:
"There is ample evidence of what works in education, but the bureaucracies have systematically ignored all of it. Innovations that work include merit-based pay, increasing teacher-student ratios, revamping union rules to reward the best teachers, bonuses and incentives for new teachers, charter schools, and offering parents a coupon giving them the opportunity to send their children to the school that works best for them. I've even suggested rewarding students in the poorest neighborhoods by paying them if they get a B or better in math and science.
But real change requires real change, not new rhetoric while doing more o the same old thing. Propping up the failed past at the expense of future generations leads to prison and poverty for too many of our children."