Government “can do things better” than families and individuals, especially when it comes to educating children, says Mary Burke, a millionaire leftist who has announced she is running as a Democrat against Governor Scott Walker next year. Burke currently sits on the Madison School Board, her first elected office.
In comments to the State Journal newspaper in Madison, Burke explained her stance on a number of issues, including education. Burke launched her candidacy after a coalition of liberal organizations held 41 focus groups to identify what characteristics Democrats should look for in a candidate if they hope to win the governor’s race next year.
Burke, who has no children, emphasized to the paper that government has the responsibility to do things that are best not left up to parents or individuals.
According to the paper:
“If each individual family had to take on the role of educating their children, that would be much more difficult,” Burke said. “That’s the role of government, where it can do things better as an organization than individuals can do on their own.”
According to that quote then, Burke believes parents aren’t the ones best equipped to make choices about their children’s education, that’s the job of government who can apparently “do things better” than parents.
Research has shown that parental involvement is critical to helping students achieve higher education outcomes. Christine Kim of the Heritage Foundation explains in a review of several studies of education investment and student achievement:
“While academic research has consistently shown that increased spending does not correlate with educational gains, the research does show a strong relationship between parental influences and children’s educational outcomes, from school readiness to college completion.”
Burke’s approach to education, which downplays parental involvement, is not supported by a wealth of social science data.