Mr. Marvin Nelson on K-12 Education over the next 10 years…
We often speak of infrastructure in government, and the real critical infrastructure in everything we do is educated people who can solve problems.
We are going to see incremental changes but in that timeframe, I certainly don’t expect to see a completely different system. Classrooms will have students moving more, but in less disruptive ways. Whatever we do will by and large need to take place in the current buildings.
I believe we over test and spend too much time and resources directed at testing. I actually expect the computerization of education to gradually reduce testing. As education is increasingly computerized the need to test in order to know what the student knows is pretty much taken away. You already will have the data, why generate duplicative data by testing?
It should be noted that good teachers already do this, they know what their students know. It is just that that information in not in a form that others will accept.
We are going to see more hybrid classrooms where computers and teachers are both working with students. I don’t expect to see much in the way of virtual classes by then, but expect some efforts there for individuals who cannot physically attend.
Now all those things are things I expect to see, but the thing is, I don’t believe my role as Governor is to force the education system into my vision of education.
Big problems happen in education when government gets ahead or behind too much. Someone might have a great idea, but you can’t just implement it by passing a law. A Governor is really best as a supporter of the web of professionals, parents, and organizations that make up our education system. That web is constantly innovating, finding out what works and what doesn’t work. It works best not with a governor dictating to it, but instead listening and supporting it.
I was happy this week to be able to announce my running mate will be Senator Joan Heckaman. She has spent her life dedicated to educating students and improving the system. Her involvement will assure that education gets the attention it deserves in our administration.
There is one thing that a governor can influence, that is to instill in students the belief, the vision, that they can excel, that getting educated is necessary whatever else they desire. That education is their path to a better life.
Much has been made of the fact that one of our University Presidents recently flew to Asia to recruit graduate students for advanced degrees in studies in which our country is facing critical shortages. The easy thing is just to be critical of him, but instead we need to realize that this is really a symptom, not the problem, that for some reason our children are deciding not to pursue those degrees.
As Governor I plan to give our children dreams to dream, and then an educational system with the flexibility and resources to help them achieve those dreams. Education, changing the world one student at a time.
— Marvin Nelson