Privatization is no cure for the inadequacies of our educational system. It is incredible that the pursuit of knowledge is so often the center of such stupidity! Teaching is a labor intensive industry, and it is one of the most basic obligations we owe our children.

I am running for governor and I would fundamentally restructure our school system to comply with the straightforward mandate in New Jersey's state constitution, to provide every child a thorough and efficient education. Common sense suggests we could best do that with a broad, statewide source of revenue and a centralized administration.

Parental involvement is essential but it should be at the school level, in classrooms, with teachers and principals. We can save a lot of money by abolishing the hundreds of local districts and making schools work for kids. My disdain for 'home rule' depends on whether that term refers to the 12% who vote in school elections or putting people like George Norcross in control. Either way, I will work to produce better schools and lower taxes without concern for preserving sacred cows or political precedent.

Since we know more now than in years past, we should expand free public education to include pre-K and college (or an alternative like trade school). Computer technology may be used to help students learn, by bringing the collected wisdom and knowledge of humanity to them or facilitating skill development, but using a tool is not an end in itself. Kids cannot learn when they are hungry or sick or threatened by violence so all our schools must provide for the essential needs of all children.

Education is an investment in our future, which breeds returns for national security, economic prosperity and scientific advances. Enlightened knowledge can also help make life more rewarding while at this stage of technological development, ignorance is very dangerous because humanity has reached a point at which we can destroy ourselves and extinguish all life on this planet, either by accident or design.

I would address educators worried over the impact of restructuring by putting them in charge of most details, but I will not be put off this idea because it scares some people. They should be frightened of the billions of dollars we waste and the lives that are ruined every time we fail to educate a child.

 
 
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