The other day Ebony Magazine tweeted the people a question: What are the most important issues for 2016 presidential candidates to talk about?
The question struck me as incredibly important, so I responded.
By the turnout of reactions to my tweets, be it verbal responses, retweets or favorites, I think it’s safe to say that a good amount of people agreed with me. And speaking of Education needing to be talked about, I just learned that we’ll be having a new (and black) Secretary of Education. His name is John King, Jr. and Obama just tapped him not too long after the current Secretary announced his retirement.
Since Education reform appears to be a topic that we can agree is imperative these days, I figured I’d compile a list (with a little help from Huffington Post) of things we should know about John King, Jr in order to allow us to instill hope in the idea that he may be the man we need to get the job done.
- He believes that all students should be held to the similar math and literacy standards across the country (also known as the common core) and that more rigorous state testing should be implemented across the board. This belief has caused a lot of controversy to surround him in the past as parents were upset about the lack of resources appointed to students and their inability to meet more rigorous standards. But I have to say, it makes no sense to me to ask that your child not be challenged, rather than to ask for more funding which would appear to be the actual issue.
- Aside from just being Secretary of Education, he actually taught Social Studies for three years, allowing his ideas to be backed by personal experience. His father was also a principal for a good portion of his life, making him diverse in the different elements of education that need to be considered.
- He is a huge promoter of diversity within classroom settings. King, Jr. believes that “schools that are integrated better reflect our values as a country,” as he stated at a National Coalition on School Diversity Conference. This is something that our current secretary may not value as much, seeing as under his ruling the education department never made an attempt to desegregate the several schools around the country that are still racially segregated (yeah, in 2015).
- John King, Jr. has made it clear that his advisory on issues of education are always influenced by the students, parents and other teachers that make up the communities and culture surrounding the different schools around the country.
While I have yet to hear anything about his views on student loan debt, it would appear that his ideologies surrounding Education are rigorous, diverse, and efficient, and if it is true that he is a man of the people then we should soon see just how much. I look forward to having a Black man, a well-educated man, and an experienced man in office in one of the most important positions that affects both my life and that of my peers. Let’s cheer him on in hopes that the diversity in office will influence diversity in perspectives on education, something we desperately need.