5 Principles to Restore American Exceptionalism in Our Schools
To be successful, we must take the federal bureaucracy out of education and concentrate on empowering the American people
Diagnosis: The American education system is failing our children.
In a 2012 study conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States was ranked 27th out of 34 countries in mathematics.
The 2015 Math and Reading National Assessment of Educational Progress scores showed a continuation of the achievement gap between white and minority students, even after the implementation of Common Core Standards in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
Prognosis: Without change, our children will not be prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.
Today, American students face immense challenges and impediments in their path to success.
From increased U.S. Department of Education control to the skyrocketing costs of obtaining a college degree, students have never had more obstacles in their path to achievement.
Treatment Plan: Five Principles to Restore American Exceptionalism in Our Schools
School Choice: I will actively support school choice programs, such as school vouchers and charter schools, so every student has the opportunity to fully realize his or her God-given potential.
Empower Parents, Teachers, Local School Districts and the States – Not Washington: In education, as in so many endeavors, the best decisions are the ones made by those closest to the issue. I will work to directly support students, cut red tape and reduce the size and authority of the Washington educational bureaucracy.
Encourage Innovation: Everywhere I travel, I am inspired by the creativity of educators whose ideas offer real promise for tomorrow’s students. Rather than micromanaging these educational innovators with one-size-fits-all regulations that suppress their ingenuity, we should promote innovative ideas in education.
Reward Good Teachers: It is long past the time to give teachers the respect and the resources they deserve. Instead of an outdated system that rewards teacher tenure over performance, I will advocate for flexible block grants to the states to advance and reward teacher quality, and to develop teacher evaluation systems that focus on effectiveness in advancing student achievement.
A Simpler, Streamlined Student Loan Process: The Department of Education needs to get out of the lending business. We need a simpler, more streamlined and transparent financial aid process that gives students and their families the kind of simple, reliable information they need to make good decisions.
To be successful, we must take the federal bureaucracy out of education and concentrate on empowering the American people. This is the only way that “We the People” can have the kind of nation that was envisioned by our founders.
We owe it to our children – and to ourselves – to restore our education system to global preeminence, and I believe this common sense, conservative, principled approach will enable us to do so.
We Must Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Empower Americans to Ensure Access to High-Quality Care at Lower Cost
Diagnosis: Patients and Their Doctors Have Lost Control
A lifetime in medicine taught me that the best health care decisions are made between patient and doctor. As decision-making moves further away from patients and providers, the medical outcomes become less effective.
Obamacare has upended the patient-doctor relationship, restricting our health care options and access to doctors and specialists. As a result, patients face exorbitant increases in premiums, deductibles and co-pays, less access to the doctors they trust and fewer health care plans to choose from.
Prognosis: Spiraling Costs, Fewer Doctors and Choices
Without immediate change Americans will face:
Fewer choices — Already, 5 million Americans have been kicked off the private health care plans they depended on, with 21 percent fewer health plan options than before Obamacare.
Fewer doctors — Even now, specialists essential to diagnosing and treating stroke (America’s 5th leading killer) are in severe shortage under the Obamacare insurance plans.
Broken promises under Medicare & Medicaid — Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries face a two-tieredhealth care system, as many doctors can no longer afford to participate; meanwhile, both programs are unsustainable.
Treatment Plan: Repeal Obamacare and Put “We the People” in Charge
Health Empowerment Accounts to put patients in charge, with more choices at lower cost:
- First-dollar coverage for out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to buy the insurance of your choice.
- Your Money. Your Account belongs to you, whether you change jobs or cross state lines.
- Transferable between family members, because each of us has different medical needs.
Save Medicare and Medicaid by putting beneficiaries in control:
- Give Medicare beneficiaries a fixed contribution to buy the health insurance they actually want and need.
- Give Medicare and Medicaid enrollees HEAs to cover first-dollar expenses and insurance premiums for coverage they get to choose
- Modernize Medicare to keep pace with medical advances by gradually increasing the eligibility age (by 2 months each year) until it reaches age 70.
- Treat Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries like the rest of us. Give Medicaid beneficiaries the same insurance coverage, doctors and choices that other Americans enjoy, with HEAs to provide first-dollar coverage, supplemented by a major medical insurance plan of the patient’s choice.
- Save Medicaid by providing fixed-dollar support to the states, which must use the funds for premium payments and HEAs for beneficiaries — not wasteful state bureaucracies.