One of the main points of emphasis in Independent candidate for Governor Greg Orman’s education plank of his problem solving platform is economic growth.
“Public education’s the only manufacturing process I know of where you don’t control the quality of your inputs,” said Orman. “What happens to that child at night, on the weekends? Are their parents, you know, working two and three jobs and therefore not as able to be involved in the child’s education? Does the kid have to work until two in the morning at a convenience store to help their family make ends meet? All of those type things have a huge impact on educational outcomes.”
Orman agrees with the direction the State Board of Education has taken with the Kansans Can initiative.
“They really went through a terrific process to try to understand what Kansans are looking for in their public education system and how to deliver it,” said Orman. “They’ve basically traveled the state and they asked three very simple questions. Describe a successful 24-year-old. What is the role of K-12 education in that and what’s the role of higher
education in that?”
One of the outcomes identified was kindergarten readiness for kids and Orman wants to explore new policy in that area.
“Kids who have access to good pre-kindergarten education end up starting kindergarten much more prepared and ultimately end up as you evaluate them throughout their elementary school years, performing better,” said Orman.
The plank says that Kansas needs to “explore our ability to offer universal pre-K of some form.” The State Board of Education has not yet given direction as to what they would like such a proposal to look like, even though it is among their desired outcomes.
For a look at the full plank, go to ormanforkansas.com.