My favorite memory from my childhood is not of my trip to Disneyland or to the county fair; my visit to the Statue of Liberty remains one of my best childhood experiences. I vividly remember how my eyes brimmed with tears as I gazed in awe at the colossal woman before me, her strength and beauty captivating, to say the least. Even more breathtaking than her stature was the plaque that stood at her base, beautifully articulating what it was exactly that she stood for. As I read plaque’s poem, “The New Colossus,” it became evident to me that the Statue of Liberty stands proud and tall, a perfect representation of America’s commitment to welcoming others with open arms, to guiding those who feel as though they have no one to turn to, and to always making an effort to improving the lives of others. Although I haven't visited the Mother of Exiles since then, I’ve continued to carry these sentiments with me every day as I venture on my journey to improve my community, and as mayor, I'd implement education reforms that would help accomplish just that.
My city has become a warzone in the past few years. Gunshots ring out every night as rival gangs duel it out in the streets. Much to my dismay, while most of the neighborhood is sleeping (or at least attempting to), many children peer out their windows and gaze at these hooligans with the same admiration I had for the Statue of Liberty. With teachers in my district constantly going on strike and programs meant to keep kids out of trouble shutting down, it has become evident to me that changes must be made to our education system to guide the youth to success.
As mayor, I would fund a plan to send every person who wanted an education to school for free. I would completely eradicate college loans so students eager to learn won't face any impediments on their journey to attaining a higher education. Moreover, I’d bring back all the programs that have been cut in school budgets due to rising costs and frivolous spending. It’s time to take the people who don’t think in the best interest of our children out of the equation. Furthermore, I’d pay teachers a better wage and make the criteria for becoming a teacher more stringent. I would also offer bonuses to teachers who achieve greater results from their classrooms, thus forcing teachers to be more accountable for a student’s advancement to the next grade-level. No more letting money determine your child's education. I’d also give teachers the tools they need to educate our young, but add limits to a teacher’s tenure. Tenure will no longer be a get out of jail free card for those who do not genuinely work to better their student’s lives. Finally, I’d create jobs by offering classroom aids and shrinking the size of students per classroom.
Education is the key to success, and only through encouraging children to pursue it will we be able to help them change their lives for the better. We can teach children to aspire to be more, and it's essential that we do so because children are our future.