Jill Stein: Education Is a Right


Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President, on her platform page says that education is a right, and lists the following priorities:

  • Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university.
  • Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude.
  • Protect our public school systems from privatization.
  • Use restorative justice to address conflicts before they occur, and involve students in the process.
  • Evaluate teacher performance through assessment by fellow professionals. Do not rely on high stakes tests that reflect economic status of the community, and punish teachers working in low income communities of color.
  • Replace Common Core with curriculum developed by educators, not corporations, with input from parents and communities.
  • Stop denying students diplomas based on high stakes tests.
  • Stop using merit pay to punish teachers who work with the most challenging student populations.
  • Restore arts, music and recreation to school curriculums.
  • Ensure racially inclusive, sensitive and relevant curriculums.
  • Use Department of Education powers to offer grants and funding to encourage metropolitan desegregation plans based on socioeconomically balanced schools.
  • Recognize poverty as the key obstacle to learning. Ensure that kids come to school ready to learn: healthy, nourished, secure and free from violence.
  • Increase federal funding of public schools to equalize public school funding.

I was actually surprised to see she wanted to replace Common Core. I’m not surprised by her stance on high-stakes testing. On one hand there seems to be an appeal to local control, but “ensuring” any type of curriculum is actually more federal control than what Hillary Clinton advocates. She also wants to increase federal funding of public schools to equalize public school funding. I assume this is to ensure urban schools have the same amount of taxpayer funding as suburban schools. That along with free tuition for preschool through university (which public school for K-12 is already “free”) sounds really, really expensive.