Perry's Overall Philosophy on Education
Governor Rick Perry believes strongly in accountability. At the forefront of his plan are the "Seven Breakthrough Solutions" for higher education, and while these were initially drafted for just the state of Texas the ideas in these goals likely reflect Governor Perry's broader vision for education improvement.
Perry's 7 goals are: Measure teaching efficiency and effectiveness, publicly recognize and reward extraordinary teachers, split research and teaching budgets to encourage excellence in both, require evidence of teaching skill for tenure, use "results-based" contracts with students to measure quality, put state funding directly in the hands of students, and create results-based accrediting alternatives.
Perry urges all universities to use their money wisely so that costs of tuition to not continue to skyrocket. He would rather have universities invest their research money in projects that will yield a beneficial result instead of researching something for the sake of researching it. These solutions are meant to save money for use on the students and increase the effectiveness of education.
Governor Perry strongly believes not only that the power to craft curriculum should be given to the states but that more standardized testing should be used so that schools can be gauged on how well they are training students. He would seek to establish a higher than average uniform standard in order to better prep all students for success in higher education. Governor Perry has pushed for each student "getting a fair shake" regardless of ethnicity, and the numbers from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) back him up.
Perry also believes that the teachers unions are hurting students due to their policies, waste and extra bureaucracy.
Governor Perry seeks to greatly limit the role of bureaucracy on both the federal and state level because he sees it as getting in the way of the education. Instead of spending money on bureaucracy, Governor Perry would rather provide a richer learning experience in the form of personalized study guides and graduation plans for students in order to increase all students' chances for success.
One of the ways he wants to achieve this is with a stronger emphasis on math and science for students at all levels of education. In order for America to remain a global leader in both business and innovation, students need to have a firm background in math and science.
Governor Perry also suggests that while students are the focal point of education, it will be the strength and support of teachers that will help the students achieve success. To this end Governor Perry supports both teacher mentoring and teacher incentive programs. This two-pronged approach should serve to both cultivate a teacher's development as well as giving them even more reason to be the best teacher they can be. On the subject of evolution vs. intelligent design, the governor believes personally in intelligent design but supports both evolution and intelligent design being taught side by side in public schools. All in all, the governor thinks that if the focus is put back on the students and teachers working for the betterment of student education then the nation will remain at a world leader.