Ben Carson on Education

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Free college is a non-starter

People need to know that free college is a non-starter. We're on the verge of economic collapse: it's not just the $19 trillion, but it's also the $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Incentivize the state to offer vouchers

Q: What is the one thing you would do to improve schools?

A: Provide vouchers, so that they would have choice in terms of the schools that they go to. We know that the best education is homeschool, the next is private schools, the next is charter schools, the next is public schools. If we want to change that dynamic we've got to offer some real competition to the public schools. We do everything we can to facilitate school choice, a voucher system. Incentivize the states to enact voucher systems.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 12, 2015

Free medical care to fix primary care deficit

Q: I was struck by reading your previous book, "America The Beautiful," of things that you wrote there that sound a little bit more like Bernie Sanders than some of your Republican rivals. In that book, you wrote about taking the positive aspects of socialism and actually implementing them within capitalism. What did you mean by that?

CARSON: I meant one of the things that happens, for instance, in Europe, for medical school, is that you don't have to pay for it. And, as a result, they don't have the skew that we have here. A lot of people, when they finish medical school, they're hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. And instead of, you know, doing what they may have wanted to do, which was maybe be a primary care doctor, they decide that "I'd better become," you know, "one of the specialists that makes a lot more money so I can pay this money back." That's not an issue in Europe and they don't have this primary care deficit that we have.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 18, 2015

Our public education system has become a propaganda system

On school choice, Carson said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February 2015, "I'm ready for school choice. We need to recognize education is the great liberator in our country. No one has to be a victim."

On his website, Carson says, "There has been a troubling trend of the U.S. Department of Education increasingly trying to dictate how children are educated in our primary and secondary schools. This must stop and Common Core must be overturned. Our education system must be run by involved parents and engaged teachers and principals. Any attempt by faceless federal bureaucrats to take over our local schools must be defeated."

In a 2014 YouTube video, Carson said, "The great divide in our nation right now is education. We have to do everything we can to bring it back to the level that it used to be in this country. We used to have the best public education system in the world. Now we have the best propaganda system in the world. We just have to change that."

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , May 5, 2015

Supports charter schools; supports local control

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , May 5, 2015

Supports homeschooling; supports teaching values

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , May 5, 2015

Private schooling better than Common Core public schooling

Carson didn't mention any of his potential rivals for the GOP nomination. But in response to a question, he condemned the Common Core national academic standards that have been championed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Carson, who claimed that home-schooled and private school students are better educated than public school students, said, "Our public schools don't need some central government telling them how to do it."

The standards were created and adopted by state officials, but the Obama administration's financial incentives to states that adopt them have drawn accusations of government overreach.

Source: Wall Street Journal:2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 26, 2015

When you educate a man, you liberate a man

I'm very passionate about education because it made such a big difference in my life. But here we are at a time in the world--the information age, the age of technology--and yet 30% of people who enter high school in this country do not graduate. 44% of people who start a 4-year college program do not finish it in 4 years. What is that about? Think back to a darker time in our history. 200 years ago when slavery was going on it was illegal to educate a slave, particularly to teach them to read. Why do you think that was? Because when you educate a man, you liberate a man. And there I was as a youngster placing myself in the same situation that a horrible institution did because I wasn't taking advantage of the education. Now, admittedly, it was a bad environment. But I had a mother who believed in me. And if we ever came up with an excuse, she always said, "Do you have a brain?" And if the answer was yes, then she said, "Then you could have thought your way out of it."
Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

College grads today fail a 6th-grade test from the 1800s

If you really want to be impressed, take a look at the chapter on education in my latest book, America the Beautiful, which I wrote with my wife--it came out last year, and in that education chapter you will see questions extracted from a sixth-grade exit exam from the 1800s--a test you had to pass to get your sixth-grade certificate. I doubt most college graduates today could pass that test. We have dumbed things down to that level. And the reason that is so dangerous is because the people who founded this nation said that our system of government was designed for a well-informed and educated populace. And when they become less informed, they become vulnerable. That is why education is so vitally important.
Source: One Nation, by Dr. Ben Carson, on National Prayer Breakfast , May 20, 2014

School choice increases competitive nature of education

School choice obviously plays a huge role [in making the education system more competitive]. I think having charter schools, having school vouchers, things of that nature are extremely good because unless you are competing for those students, it's very likely you're going to become complacent. Schools, and teachers, educators are no different than anybody else. People tend to respond to stimulation, and when there's no stimulation, they tend to kind of relax. So we need to put the appropriate stimulation there to increase the competitive nature of education.
Source: NewsMaxTV: Carson on school choice , Apr 15, 2013

Education worked for me; don't throw young people away

Education worked for me, Carson said. After studying at Yale and the University of Michigan, Carson became the youngest person to lead a major division at Hopkins Hospital. "We can't afford to throw any of those young people away," said Carson, who with his wife set up a scholarship program for exceptional students. A better-educated populace means fewer people on welfare and more taxpayers, he argued.
Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Baltimore Sun , Mar 17, 2013

Evolution and creationism both require faith

An unusual controversy has erupted at Emory University over the choice of famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson to deliver this year's commencement address because he does not believe in evolution. Nearly 500 professors, student and alumni signed a letter expressing concern that Carson, as a 7th Day Adventist, believes in creationist theory that holds that all life on Earth was created by God about 6,000 years ago. It rejects Darwin's theory of evolution, which is the central principle that animates modern biology, and which virtually all modern scientists agree is true. The letter's authors are not seeking to have Carson disinvited. Instead, they say it was written to raise concerns about his anti-scientific views.

Carson has spoken publicly about his views on evolution and creationism, once telling a convention of the National Science Teachers: "Evolution and creationism both require faith. It's just a matter of where you choose to place that faith."

Source: Wash.Post "Creationist views": on 2016 Presidential hopefuls , May 8, 2012

Creationists have God's ethics; evolutionists must find them

[Critics who oppose Carson speaking at Emory University said] that Carson has made comments that suggest people who believe in evolution do not have ethics. In an article in the Adventist Review, Carson was quoted as saying, "By believing we are the product of random acts, we eliminate morality and the basis of ethical behavior. For if there is no such thing as moral authority, you can do anything you want. You make everything relative, and there's no reason for any of our higher values."

But Carson said that the Review article had not published his complete quote and that he does not think evolutionists are unethical: "Those of us who believe in God and derive our sense of right and wrong and ethics from God's word really have no difficulty whatsoever defining where our ethics come from. People who believe in survival of the fittest might have more difficulty deriving where their ethics come from. A lot of evolutionists are very ethical people."

Source: Wash.Post "Creationist views": on 2016 Presidential hopefuls , May 8, 2012

As child, mother required written book reports

My mother, with her 3rd-grade education, was terrified that because of our poor academic performance both my brother and I would end up with low-paying menial jobs as she had. She came up with the idea of turning off the television and making us read two books each week. She also made us submit to her written book reports, which of course she could not read, but we didn't know that. Her friends told her that her sons would grow up to hate her, but that did not matter to her, as long as we were successful

I didn't hate Mother, but in the beginning, I sure hated reading those books. After a while, however, I actually began to look forward to them, because they afforded me escape from our everyday poverty. There in the city, books about nature captivated me. My reading ability increased. I began to imagine myself as a great explorer or scientist or doctor. I learned things no one else around me knew. Every single day my knowledge of our world expanded, which excited me to no end.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 54 , Jan 24, 2012

Southern slaveowners knew education would empower slaves

Our society is quite willing to spend millions on a new stadium for the city's football or baseball team, while leaving many of the same city's public schools in a dilapidated condition with tattered books--and in some cases no books at all. Our young people see through this hypocrisy and tend to emulate what they SEE more than what they are TOLD.

It was not always like this, however. Our nation's founders placed so much emphasis on education that towns in Massachusetts could actually be fined for not providing adequate public education, as early as 1642. Compulsory education was much slower to reach the southern states, and education of slaves was forbidden. The very fact that powerful men in the South went to great lengths to prevent slaves from gaining an education makes it clear that they fully understood how empowering education can be. This fact alone should encourage anyone who is poor, weak, and/or powerless to direct all their energy toward obtaining an education.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 57 , Jan 24, 2012

Maintaining American pinnacle requires math, not athletics

There are many in our society who bring only entertainment value, and American society is as enamored with celebrity as British society is with royalty. Although I have nothing against sports and entertainment, I believe there is a danger of getting lost in a fantasy world while neglecting the serious things in life such as education and productive work. The enormous salaries paid to sports stars and entertainers lead people to believe that they are the most important people in our society, or have the most important jobs. I believe they are as important as anyone else, but we must ask ourselves what will maintain the pinnacle position of our nation in the world: the ability to shoot a 25-foot jump shot, or the ability to solve a quadratic equation.
Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 69 , Jan 24, 2012

Carson Scholars Fund: for humanitarian & superior academics

Children are especially vulnerable to peer pressure, whether it be good peer pressure or bad peer pressure. It is definitely possible to affirm students who are not doing well academically while still providing encouraging extra recognition for those students who are achieving the highest levels. By providing extra recognition for those outstanding students, many of the other students are encouraged to try harder. We have certainly found this to be the case with the Carson Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships for student who demonstrate both superior academic performance and humanitarian qualities. Some teachers have told us that when we put a Carson scholar in the classroom, the grade-point average of the whole class can go up by as much as one point over the next year.
Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 74 , Jan 24, 2012

THINK BIG: Talent, Honesty, Insight, Nice, Knowledge.God

An example of how political correctness tries to usurp power and impose rules occurred a few years ago when some lawyers approached my wife and me to inform us that our "Think Big" banners could no longer be displayed in public schools. The letter T is for talent, which everyone has to some degree; the letter H is for honesty; I is for insight; N is for nice; K is for knowledge; B is for books; I is for in-depth learning; and G is for God. Because G stands for God, they felt that was clearly a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. We informed them that the First Amendment prohibits government suppression of religious expression and a rather vigorous argument ensued.

[Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor agrees]. The audacity of some of the secularists who try to get God out of everything with no legitimate legal backing is astonishing, and they must be challenged and their objections defeated if our value system is to survive.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.193 , Jan 24, 2012

Carson Reading Rooms: 4,800 scholarships totaling $2 million

The Carson Scholars Fund supports two main initiatives: Carson Scholarships and the Ben Carson Reading Project. Our scholarship program awards students who have embraced high levels of academic excellence and community service with $1,000 college scholarships. The Ben Carson Reading Project provides funding to schools to build and maintain Ben Carson Reading Rooms -warm, inviting rooms where children can discover the joy of independent leisure reading.

We award more than 500 scholarships annually. In total, we have awarded over 4,800 scholarships across the country. Carson Scholarship winners have attended more than 300 colleges and universities, and have received nearly $2 million in scholarship funds to help finance their education.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.211 , Jan 24, 2012

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