President, Business Roundtable,
and former governor of Michigan (R)
We’ve actually solved every problem that we have in public education somewhere in America. We have a system. It doesn’t replicate our success rate effectively. So part of our strategy also is: How do you take what is working [in one school and apply it to others] where English is a second language, [where there is] very high poverty? How do you take the success that we can document today and make it happen everywhere?
You’ve got [poorer] schools in the Southwest that are outperforming schools here in D.C., where they spend almost $30,000 per pupil. You need to be able to explain that. So I don’t think it’s resources. There’s no straight line — the more you spend, the better the results. That’s all over the map. Let’s get accountable with what we’re spending and then let’s, after that, figure out if there’s an area where we need additional resources.
That’s where I think you start early. We’ve got a big problem we have to work at to reduce, but we sure ought to triage it and keep it from getting worse by making sure that at least the rising generation, as they’re coming up, are all able to participate fully in the education system.