Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bob McDonnell’s 5 Point Education Plan – George Mason University

Big, bold attainable goals for a higher education plan hailed the Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell today at George Mason University. His plan includes producing 100,000 new college degrees primarily using the STEM principle. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Education, and Math. “Those are the people who will earn the high incomes,” said McDonnell.

1) First, tie state funding directly to this priority and create financial incentives for all our institutions of higher education, both two- and four-year, to emphasize these programs.

(2) Second, do much more to encourage young people to get on the STEM track when they are in elementary and middle school, and of course, high school.

(3)  Third, attract, train, motivate, and reward many more excellent teachers in STEM disciplines. 

McDonnell outlined a long-term blueprint that included innovative incentives for commercially viable R&D activities on a regional basis. Among his ideas he proposed increaseing research and development at colleges and universities. 

To help fund alternative and renewable energy research and development, McDonnell proposed using a portion of the revenues from offshore drilling from oil and natural gas.


·         Commit the Commonwealth to awarding 100,000 additional four-year and community college degrees over the next 15 years.

·         Make higher education more affordable and accessible for all Virginians.

·         Increase the number of students graduating with degrees in high demand, high income fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.

·         Expand workforce training at Virginia’s Community Colleges based on current and anticipated employer needs

·         Promote public-private partnerships for economic development, workforce training, and advanced research in every region of Virginia

Higher education ought to be among our top priorities for investment.  It is one of the areas of state government spending that produces the highest return on investment in terms of jobs and economic growth, and ultimately tax revenues:

Ø  Not only do our colleges and community colleges prepare young people for the good jobs and high incomes of the future, but they also provide the new skills that adults need to stay well-employed in the fast-changing economy.

Ø  They play a vital role in our economic development programs that attract new, job-producing businesses to every region of our state.  Just ask the executives and employees of companies like Rolls Royce, and SRI, and AREVA, and Canon, and Continental, each of which located or expanded facilities here in reliance on the advanced educational opportunities we made available.

Ø  Our colleges also partner with business on research that creates new discoveries, new jobs, and a substantial return on investment.

Ø  And study after study shows that a wide range of costly social ills-from crime and welfare to health and wellness issues-all correlate to lower education levels.    


McDonnell concluded saying that “our investments in higher education pay big dividends in both increased economic activity and reduced social costs, resulting in a higher quality of life for our citizens.”  CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE PLAN AND SPEECH AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

Tags: ,

Comments (3)


May 12th, 2009 at 8:29 PM    

STEM. Bob’s learned some new jargon.

“Those are the people who will earn the high incomes,” said McDonnell.

Give me a break! Sure those people are important, but so are those who go into the trades and into the arts and into service industries and into …well you get the point. Bob’s plan is recycled babble-talk. It’s a public/private windstorm.

How does Bob want to get elementary school kids interested in STEM’s? Specifically. What Bob may not understand is that kids are naturally interested in STEM’s. They’re genetically predisposed to be curious about STEM topics. What we effectively do in public school is bludgeon their curiosity with high-stakes testing clubs.



May 12th, 2009 at 8:51 PM    

My thoughts keep going back to Roanoke City’s 57% graduation rate. How exactly does his plan help the 43%.

Maybe BD should talk to some teachers and get a reality check.


May 12th, 2009 at 9:52 PM    

RFP, I will give Bob credit for visiting with teachers at the VEA Convention a couple of weeks ago. He participated in an education forum. As a teacher with many years of experience, I found his positions to be tired and scary.

Vouchers. Merit pay. Monkey with teacher’s defined benefit retirement plan.

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