Success in life begins in the classroom

Roughly one third of the state budget is spent on education. Yet too many of our young people are graduating or leaving school unprepared to support themselves and with little hope of ever supporting a family.

The current leadership in Delaware continues to think that our problems can be solved by just doing more of the same and asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets to fund what have been proven to be failing ideas.

If we want to improve the economy, our schools must do a better job preparing students for the workforce or higher education.

Studies have shown that more than one half of the students leaving high school will not attend college. These young people should have been provided the Information they need to prepare for a successful life.

We know the importance of helping children learn the basics of reading, writing, and at least basic math. For young people not going on to higher education, these basic skills are important.

Students need to be aware and prepared for the next step in life. By helping our young people understand the benefits of career training, by helping them develop the skills they need for successful employment, they become productive contributors to society.

This not only helps our economy, but reduces the risk of young people taking a wrong path in life that could lead to incarceration. Some states determine how much prison capacity will be needed in the future based on the literacy rate of third graders.

I grow angry when I read such statements. To me that is saying our government, our society, has given up on you before you are nine years old.

Years ago, I read about a young boy around the age of 10 who was told over and over again by family members that he would not be any good, that he would turn out to be just like his father.

One family member, I think it was an uncle, pulled him aside and told him not to listen to the others. He told him he was a good boy and had great potential.

Those few words of encouragement meant the difference in this young boy’s life. He became a successful author and wrote the story about his life that appeared in Reader’s Digest.

As governor, I will ask teachers to encourage each student to do the best they can with their potential to discover.

If we fail to educate our children, if we fail to show the way to a better life, we will see everywhere the consequences of our failures.

Success starts in classrooms with teachers who instruct and inspire. We need to give them our support.

My administration will not give up on students when they are nine years old. My administration will work to inspire teachers and students.

Delaware needs to take a new look at how we are educating our young people.

Let's start by opening up more diversified learning opportunities for our youth.

It’s time to get beyond slogans, such as “No Child Left Behind.” It’s time to set aside politics and realize that we must work together to help every child succeed in life.

Finally, our tax laws must allow parents the freedom to choose without penalty where their children learn, in public, private or home school environments.

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