Education in the 21st Century (Part 1) | Tristan Shields

Education in the 21st Century (Part 1)

The children of Virginia should have access to education that prepares them to succeed in the 21st century. Are District 18 schools doing this? That’s the North Star that should guide us in any education policy decisions made in the legislature.

What should our schools look like to develop beautiful 21st century minds? They need maximized teacher-student ratios for quality instruction and learning. They need strong, respectful partnerships between teachers, parents and students. They need access to technology for all students, including access to rural broadband at home.

We need to recognize that our District’s neighbors are the richest counties in America. We need to keep and reward our high quality teachers and not lose them to our neighbors. Paying teachers competitively and providing them with high-quality training ensures we keep our talent in District 18. Let’s keep and reward our high-quality teachers and not lose them to our neighbors like Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

Children have different learning needs. Some children need to be home-schooled, some children have special needs, some children need to accelerate more quickly. Parents need options and should have choices. Whether it is public, magnet, or charter schools; high standards are needed and we shouldn’t take public funds away from school districts.

The future of Virginia and the United States hinges on our ability to develop citizens who can thrive in an ever-changing economy. Education is the key strategy to keep people learning lifelong, to challenge the forces creating a ‘have and have not’ society and to keep people economically secure. Education cannot be a political bargaining chip.