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I am not a paid political pundit or an elected official, but I am a political observer who has studied the platforms of the remaining presidential candidates.
After studying those platforms, I am convinced some of the most brilliant minds go unheard because society is more impressed with those who have money, prestige and status than they are with those who have common sense.
The question every voter should ask during this election year is which presidential candidate will protect the physical safety and the economic plight of America regardless of race, color or creed?
This presidential election may be the most important in our lifetime because the next president will face the greatest economic crises since the 1929 Great Depression.
I have not decided who I am going to vote for in the primaries or in the general election, but I do have some ideas of the kind of leadership I would like to see in our next president.
I am looking for a leader who is willing to sit down with Exxon and other major cooperations to see if they would voluntarily make a major investment in the healthcare and the public education of our children.
I believe in free enterprise, but I also believe in assisting those who need help.
Low-paid wage earners have heavily invested in American corporations. During these difficult economic times, it is time for corporate America to invest more in the lives of people rather than in the development of real estate and the construction of tall office buildings.
Oil companies have benefited more than any other industry in recent years. It is time to talk with oil executives and see if they have a plan to build new refineries or drill for new oil reserves in Alaska or off the coast of North America.
If the answer is no to these questions, the American public needs to know if the oil industry is willing to invest in new forms of energy that would be less expensive for American consumers.
An ideal presidential candidate would also be willing to pursue a policy that would balance spending between the military industrial complex and the domestic needs of this country.
Americans are suffering because of inflation and the loss of jobs. Most Americans do not have high-paying military industrial complex jobs. America needs a president who feels the pain of the American people and at the same time will work within the budget and avoid unnecessary spending.
Our next president should promote free enterprise and at the same time explore ways to balance the national trade deficit. Persuading companies to remain in America should also be priority of next president.
Our next president should encourage major businesses to remain in America, and when major corporations leave America, it is time to explore ways to give incentives to displaced skilled workers to start new businesses that may be similar to corporations that choose to leave the shores of America.
I also envision a president as a role model who is willing to talk about the importance of education, the avoidance of drugs, alcohol, and sex outside of marriage. My ideal presidential candidate would stress personal responsibility and respect for the property and rights of others, and he would also promote high moral values but at the same time have compassion for those who may periodically have a lapse in judgment.
A president after my own heart will also have the moral courage to modify or do away with the No Child Left Behind Education Act. I believe a more practical educational plan is needed. The No Child Left Behind Act seems to have been designed by bureaucrats who were out of touch with the impact of the socio-economic differences that exist between high-income and low-income families.
A mandate that says that low-income school systems and families must perform at the same academic level as high-income groups is a moral outrage. The No Child Left Behind Act is an unfunded mandate that provides no funding to level the academic playing field. The tragedy of the No Child Left Behind Act is the bureaucrats who implemented the plan knew that it would take major funding to successfully implement a comprehensive nationwide educational system, yet no major funding was offered.
The lack of sufficient time to meet certain benchmarks is another major No Child Left Behind problem. Some of the unrealistic expectations in the No Child Left Behind Act have left numerous children behind. A large number of teachers are teaching to the tests and fail to slow the teaching process for students to master one lesson before moving to another. Many school systems are not spending enough time in art education, science and social studies. Lots of schools are only focusing on language arts and mathematics. Students need a well-rounded education. The No Child Left Behind Act in many ways has hindered students from receiving the kind of education they need to survive in a global society.
I am looking for a presidential candidate who is willing to think outside the box when it comes to the education of our children. My ideal presidential candidate would promote racial equality and would support state and local control of our schools but at the same time would allow the federal government to play a role in monitoring public schools to make sure there is no overbearing racial discrimination.
History teaches us that when a racial minority has no voice or representation in the execution of government, the potential for racial discrimination is increased. This is why total control of our schools should not be given to the state, the federal government or to private schools.
I believe principals and teachers should be well paid, they should be given sufficient financial resources to succeed, and if a school does not succeed the superintendent and principal to a greater degree and teachers to lesser degree need to be held accountable. In my ideal school system the administrative staff would receive the greatest scrutiny as to whether schools are classified as passing or failing.
Students and parents have a major responsibility to step up to the plate when it comes to getting a good education, but student test scores should not be used as a political football to classify a school as passing or failing. Test scores in a well-compensated system should be one of the indicators as to whether there needs to be an administrative change in the superintendent, principal or teachers.
Students should not be held back because of one standardized test; the grades a student makes during the academic years should carry more weight than a standardized test.
It is my belief that a pro-education presidential candidate would encourage school administrators to research, study and duplicate successful educational programs that have worked with low-income or low performing students. This is the kind of leadership I would like to see in our next president.
Perhaps the most radical change I would like to see in our public schools is to find a way to employ more black and white males. If a sufficient number of certified black and white males cannot be found, there should be a comprehensive program that would employ uncertified black and white male models who have high moral character. College-educated role models would be ideal, but older males who have sound moral character and possess good people skills should also be considered for the program.
I envision an increased male involvement in our public schools. I am looking for a presidential candidate who would have the moral courage to step up to the plate and address this.
There are many areas where uncertified male role models could serve in our public schools such as monitoring students when they arrive at school and supervising the transition of students from one class to another and interacting students in the dining room. Uncertified male role models could also rotate from one class to another and, when called upon, assist with tutoring and teaching character education programs. Ideally, each school system would have a comprehensive training program and write specific job descriptions to address their particular needs.
The information in this article is simply ideas. There is not enough space in a news column to share all of the details about how any of the suggested programs and changes in our education system should be implemented. This is food for thought.