Rick Santorum believes that education is the responsibility of the consumer, the parent. Parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children with local school systems supporting, as desired. As a homeschooling parent and consumer of different schools, he has learned the importance of flexible and personalized approaches to education for each child to best maximize their potential.
The federal role in education is very limited. Education is the responsibility of parents, local schools (public and private), and states -- in that order. The federal government’s role is limited to areas such as supporting civil rights protections such as IDEA in a common sense fashion, enabling essential research, and promoting equality of opportunity, where needed.
President Bush was on the mark about the soft bigotry of low expectations and the offensively low graduation rates in many of our cities. Today, there are still many parents without good educational options for their children. The problem is that the solution is not a federal one, it is a state and, principally, local one. Parents and citizenry should hold schools accountable and have educational options for their children. Baby steps were taken in this direction in No Child Left Behind, but it should have been initiated at the local level where the consumers, taxpayers, and children are. States may choose to adopt common core standards, but they should not be forced on states, private schools, or home schools.
Reforms at the local level should be focused on expanding consumer choice in public, private, and personalized education, attracting the best teachers to be competitive as a nation, and rewarding excellence, innovation, and personalizing to the needs of individual students rather than governments or unions. Local schools and states should expand online learning options and lift any caps on charter schools as well.