America's failing schools are terrible for our kids, especially those in low-income communities. Recently, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich suggested that instead of focusing on fixing these schools, we should loosen child labor laws to so that students could work as janitors.
At a recent speech at Harvard, Gingrich said, "We say to someone, you shouldn't go to work before you're what, 14, 16 years of age? Fine. You're totally poor. You're in a school that's failing with a teacher that's failing... most of these schools should get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school."
We agree that too many kids are stuck in failing schools. But, the answer isn't to say kids can't learn and instead we should shuffle them off to do manual labor. We can't build stronger, smarter communities by writing off kids and their futures. Every child can learn when we set high expectations, provide them with the resources they need to succeed and hold ourselves accountable for their progress.
Tell Newt Gingrich that instead of turning our students into janitors, we should be fixing our broken school system.