Create better educational opportunities for our children

Educational Reforms for our children

Children are our future, and parents should have a major role in determining that future! This should be the prime principle for our nation. The “progressives?” democrats like our incumbent should be defeated like Terry McAuliffe – the ex governor of Virginia – who proclaimed twice that parents should have nothing to do with education. They think your children are a state property. Are they? This notion is only valid in Communist countries, not in freedom loving democracies like the US.

Just to remind my constituents, our incumbent congressman supported race-based quotas in higher education admissions: He fully supported California’s ACA5/prop 16 based racial make up quotas in education, jobs, or public contracts, after promising, in writing, years before that he would not support any such laws. He is a turncoat not to be trusted! Our district is heavily Asian and our incumbent congressman is an Asian, yet his policies have been anti-Asian! I am glad that prop 16 was defeated! Now, Lets defeat this anti-Asian incumbent with his extreme left “Progressive” policies that are regressive – not progressive – and infantile. Lets take our kids back and educate them the way YOU want them to be educated, not the state, not the politicians, not the biased school boards, and not the teachers unions.

The reason Virginia parents won and the “progressive?” Governor was thrown out, is because he supported shameful curriculums that 1.) Promote discussion of sexual contents at early age in schools; 2.) Recommends reading of books like “Queer” in high schools, which graphically describes same sex acts; 3.) Encourage racist and divisive messages of Critical Race theories. School Boards that approve and encourage pornographic materials in schools are despicable. These educators are normalizing garbage under the garb of “progressive?” ideas. What is furious is that they don’t want the parents involved in reviewing the materials taught in schools! They obviously know that parents would not allow their kids exposed to such nonsense. Would you tolerate such degradation in our education system? Your incumbent congressman supports teachers unions and educators that are responsible for this degradation! While the world is racing to teach STEM curriculum to their kids, we are teaching pornography and race divisions to them. I would say that it is time to throw out the public school system and make school choice a mandatory law.

Progressive democrats like your incumbent support messages of critical race theory (CRT) in our institutions: It is racist and divisive. American value is that we must treat everybody equally and stop talking about oppressors (white race) and victims (blacks) in race relations dialogue – History is history and should be taught with a balanced and forgiving perspective. CRT also is bringing in the “Asian Privilege” in their messages. Most of you in district 17 are Asians and are labeled as privileged. It is because you worked hard and have accumulated money. Therefore, you are must be racists. What nonsense!

Teaching our children that racism arises within your skin color, and you are born with it, is totally un-American and unacceptable. Progressives like Ro Khanna support this CRT ideology and its messages. Believe me, it will not help the black community! You want to help the black community with love and care and educational training. They should receive positive encouragement messages of seeing themselves as being equal, and that individual merit counts. Progressives like Ro Khanna should abide by what Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. said to all of the US.

Recently, Ivy League college admission policy discriminating against the Asians has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Under the pretext of diversity, Asians – a minority in the US – are refused admissions in favor of other minorities. This practice damages the Asians, who want to excel in life through hard work – an all American value. The economic and psychological damage caused to the hard working Asians children by refusing admissions to top schools is enormous. Hopefully, just like the defeat of Prop 16 in California, this abhorrent practice of diversity based admissions, jobs, government contracts, etc. will stop throughout our nation. We need the discriminatory admissions challenge in the Supreme Court to succeed similar to a victory won by a coalition of Parents in Fairfax county, Virginia.

Alexandria, Virginia; February 25, 2022: Today, a federal judge ruled that Fairfax County school officials violated the law by changing admissions requirements at the nation’s top public school to deliberately reduce the number of Asian-American students enrolled.

This arbitrary selection criterion of diversity, equity, and social justice allocation is harmful to our nation and federal laws must be made to protect freedom of education, jobs, and business contracts. I promise to work very hard to do just that.

All education institutions including high school should gear kids to earn a comfortable living wage. The school choice is a fundamental policy to achieve such an objective. It needs to be implemented throughout our nation. Public school system has failed to achieve this objective! Its record of the past 50 years is miserable, and has done damage to our kids by ignoring their primary responsibility of competitive education for our kids. The STEM education performance has been really poor in our schools. Teaching kids woke culture, pornography, and critical race theories in schools should not be a priority, as it does not make kids earn a good living. It is time to make a radical change in our school and university system, and create competition for the public schools, and the public universities – all tax dollars must go with the student wherever that student wants to go.

Additional programs that will help our kids earn a good living are: 1.) Apprenticeships that start at the high school level and continue to all levels of higher education. Focus on K-12 education quality is critical as it is the foundation to succeed for children. Our tax dollars and resources must be utilized in a manner where they are most effective and accountable. Educators must be held accountable and incentivized according to their performance. Tenure system must be reviewed and changed to hold faculty responsible for the outcomes for students.

American society must embrace ideals of equal opportunity for all without discrimination or preferences. Our children must adopt values of fair competition and success, which is the only way to make United States shine as an example of a fair society where American dream is possible through hard work alone, and not through political social engineering. I will vehemently oppose quota systems based on race, color, sex, and ethnicity. I will work at congress level to propose bills that will withhold federal funds if any state laws support any kind of preferential affirmative action and quotas.

US Education Policy

The Education Policy of the US is not a coordinated national policy as the 10th amendment gives the power of education to the states. However, to help the states and school districts, a formal department of education at the federal level started in 1980. The department, with its $60B budget, focuses its mission on supporting the states and school districts in their efforts to provide an equal access to high-quality education to all students, and on streamlining and simplifying funding for college and expanding access to new, high-quality post-secondary options.  Last year, despite funding from the federal government and surplus funding with the CA state government, schools in Cupertino, Evergreen, and other areas in my district were closed. I strongly oppose the closure of any schools in our district. Read more.

States fund free education up to high school and charge nominal fees for post-secondary education. Post-secondary education has generally been acceptable, but K-12 education has come under critique.

For K-12 education, the state department of Education, and local School Boards control the education policy, curricula, and the administrative burden.  Funding for education in California for the K-12 education comes from income and property taxes, and was about $102B in the year 2019. K-12 level education system has been criticized for providing less than quality education to the students, as they lack competitive ranking (US is 30th) in basic math and science education compared to many countries in the world. Many educators have argued the lack of funding as the key reason for the quality of education decline in the past 40-50 years.

Revenue and Expenses per pupil for K-12 schools in California’s Congressional District 17th

Fremont:      Exp=$10,331                Rev=$12,575
Cupertino:    Exp=$10,574               Rev=$11,635
Milpitas:        Exp=$10, 472              Rev=$13683
Sunnyvale:    Exp=$13,572               Rev=$15,019
Santa Clara:   Exp=$15,125               Rev=$21,841

California:     Avg. Exp: $12, 056     Avg. Rev= $14,708
USA:               Avg. Exp=$11932        Avg. Rev= $14, 146

Source: National Center for education statistics

Note: California expects the average expenditure per pupil to be around $17K in 2019.

Compared to OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation & Development) countries, the US spends about 30% more per pupil at primary and secondary education level, and 93% more at the post secondary level. In our congressional district, schools like Cupertino and Fremont did very well despite a lower than average spending compared to California and the US.  So, spending levels may be only a small reason, if at all, for the lackluster educational performance at K-12 level in the US. We have to look at other ways to improve our K-12 education system.

History of our shift to the public school system is over 100 years old. Educators have felt that all children are state responsibility, and have pushed for a large and uniform public school system. It resulted in powerful teachers unions, and large administrative burdens. Milton Friedman, a Nobel prize winner economist, argued for more choices in the schooling system, which started the Charter schools and other options. Here is a survey of success of school choice:

In 2012, approximately 78 percent of kindergarten through 12th grade students attended the public school to which they were geographically assigned, about 14 percent attended a public school of their choice, and more than 8 percent attended a private school. In addition, among all children ages 5–17, approximately 3 percent were homeschooled in 2012, the latest year for which homeschool data are available. Satisfaction levels are the highest among private school parents, with more than 80 percent of parents saying they were ‘‘very satisfied’’ with their children’s school. Parents of children at public charter schools and public schools of choice also showed levels of satisfaction that were significantly higher than parents at geographically assigned district schools.

In today’s rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill existing and newly created jobs as well as the jobs of the future. However, higher education is becoming increasingly unaffordable, and we are enrolling more foreign students to charge larger fees, and also importing highly qualified labor force that competes with the local students for jobs. This faulty admissions and immigration policy is raising the cost of getting good higher education and high paying jobs for our kids. Currently, far too many individuals leave postsecondary schools with unmanageable student debt and with no direct connection to jobs. We have to create comprehensive solutions to help our children compete well and get great jobs in the new economy.

Congress, in coordination with the states, must be active in meeting the above challenges. I am a very strong proponent of policies to provide multiple vocational pathways beginning in the high school that help students identify and build upon their unique strengths. I firmly believe that students need to have a full host of options, including technical schools, community colleges, ROCPs, and 4-year Colleges, all with strong apprenticeship programs.

I will propose and facilitate bills that will incentivize company apprenticeship programs, and reform the existing ineffective education and workforce development programs. This will help more Americans to obtain relevant skills and high-paying jobs. For example, apprenticeships with companies should start quickly after students join a course of study. Students will benefit from getting trained on the state of the art technology being used by the companies, get relevant workplace experiences and opportunities to develop skills that employers value. Also, this will pay partial living costs and tuition for the students. Federal matching programs can be used to incentivize such programs. These measures will provide affordable paths to good jobs, lesser or no student debt, and ultimately, fulfilling careers.

Admissions to the educational institutions must be with total disregard to race, sex, color, and ethnicity etc. All students must enjoy a very open and equal access to education that leads to high paying jobs. Recent defeat of the attempts by California Legislatures to change its constitution (Prop 16) to allow preferential system in admissions based on racial make up of the state, speaks volumes as prop 16 went against the very grain of American value of ZERO discrimination in the society. “Progressives?“ like Ro Khanna Supported Prop 16!

Any system of preferential affirmative action, reverse discrimination, and quotas will create sub-par skilled workforce and will corrupt the society. Instead, resources should be made available to underprivileged students at high school and college  level so they learn and graduate with excellent skills to enter either higher educational institutions, or enter workforce at comfortable living wages. All Federal incentive programs must be tied to non-quota based admissions to the colleges and universities.

My opponent, incumbent congressman Ro Khanna, believes in social engineering of Prop16. Fortunately, it was defeated. Help me defeat his infantile ideas that waste our energies. We must forever discourage this race, color, and ethnicity-based preferences through Federal and state laws. These are totally un-American and regressive policies!! They lower healthy competition, erode societal improvements, and degrade quality of education.

I will support bills that create competitive school options like charter schools, and private schools. The tax dollars will follow wherever the kids want to go to school. This will likely also result in creating more uniform and diverse neighborhoods that are less dependent on school ratings.

If we are going to achieve educational competitiveness, we must also institute a Teaching Accountability System (TAS), where performance in the teaching is measured. It must discourage below average teaching, and reward good teachers in their pay as well as retirement benefits. With school choice policy where dollars go with the student, we will have smaller administrative costs for our education system. I intend to promote bills that promote such accountability policies.

We must bring parents into the education system, as they play a very important role in instilling in their kids the value of a good education. They can promote the ideals of education, which must include good job skills, and subjects of good citizenship. Schools and colleges should have advisory parental councils to make sure that curriculums promote un-biased philosophies of social and political thinking. I will promote federal assistance bills attached to such policies for the betterment of society.

Ritesh Tandon for California Issues
PO Box 731295, San Jose, CA 95173
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