Andrew Yang on Education

Democratic Presidential Challenger & Tech CEO


Extend Universal Pre-K to three-year-olds

The most celebrated accomplishment of the de Blasio administration was the creation of Universal Pre-K. Before COVID, the de Blasio administration was planning to extend this program to 3 year olds, but did not believe this plan was viable in the current fiscal environment. However, as the economy reopens and the city budget recovers, we should prioritize scaling up 3-K, so that families who need affordable childcare stay in the City.

New York has some of the greatest teachers in the world. We should be using the remote learning tools now in greater use to give them a platform to enrich students around the city and the country. We should take video and curricula from teachers who are particularly strong at creating remote lessons and make them available to students across the City. This can potentially be a revenue driver for our city too, if expanded to the state/country.

Source: Mayoral campaign website YangForNY.com , Mar 25, 2021

Giving families money will improve educational outcomes

When you look at the data, you find that two-thirds of kids' educational outcomes are based on non-school factors, like parental income, parental time spent with them at home, stress levels in the household. So if you put money into that family, you would be enhancing that child's ability to learn. Social goals often are related to economic goals, where if you put more money into family's hands, you can do things like improve graduation rates, improve mental health, decrease domestic violence.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: Presidential/NYC Mayoral race , Feb 5, 2020

Forgive "significant portion" of student loan debt

Andrew believes the government should forgive a significant portion of student loan debt -- between 40% and 60% for individuals -- based on a number of factors such as income. There should also be additional forgiveness programs for those who work in areas that have a specific worker shortage (e.g., nurses in primary care deserts).

Andrew believes community college should be funded at a level that allows it to be free or nearly free. For other higher education, Andrew believes we, as a country, over-prescribe college and should be focused on providing alternative pathways for students, such as apprenticeship and vocational programs.

Source: USA Today on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 7, 2019

Would allow compensation for collegiate athletes

To me it is immoral that you have institutions that are profiting to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases and then they are saying these athletes are amateurs and they can't receive a dime. They can't even get money for autographs or appearance fees or their likeness being used on video games. We need to own up to the fact that many of these athletes are massive revenue generators for these institutions and start compensating them accordingly.
Source: CNN State of the Union interview on 2019 Democratic primary , Sep 15, 2019

I am pro-good-school; pay teachers more; use tests less

Q: Thousands of students are leaving traditional public schools and going to charter schools. You're the most vocal proponent on this stage for charter schools. You have said that Democrats who want to limit them are "just jumping into bed with teachers unions and doing kids a disservice." Isn't taxpayer money better spent on fixing traditional public schools?

YANG: Let me be clear, I am pro-good school. I've got a kid, one of my little boys just started public school last week. So, we need to pay teachers more, because the data clearly shows that a good teacher is worth his or her weight in gold. We need to lighten up the emphasis on standardized tests, which do not measure anything fundamental about our character or human worth. But here's the big one: The data clearly shows that 65% to 70% of our students outcomes are determined outside of the school. The answer is to put money directly into the families and neighborhoods to give our kids a chance to learn and our teachers a chance to teach.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

College shouldn't be free

Andrew Yang on Cost of College: College shouldn't be free. No candidates have similar views.

While candidates agree something needs to be done to address the rising cost of college, not all are ready to sign onto tuition-free or debt-free college proposals. Yang has called for a number of other steps, including mandating how much colleges that receive public funding are allowed to raise tuition each year and threatening the tax-exempt status of schools that aren't doing enough to keep costs down.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Offered high pay for teachers in earlier business

Yang mostly kept the company running as it always had. Manhattan Prep's signature practice was to pay tutors $100 an hour, three or four times the prevailing market rate, in order to attract the cream of the crop. In pursuits after Manhattan Prep, Yang stuck to the principle that high wages lead to better quality of teaching. Yang's platform includes the proposal to "increase teacher salaries" across the board.
Source: Slate.com on 2020 Democratic primary , Jun 25, 2019

Pay teachers enough to attract and retain the best

I think it's policy number 14 on my website, Yang2020.com, is pay teachers more. This is an investment in ourselves. The data shows that a good teacher is worth his or her weight in gold, in terms of the increased education outcomes for all of the children in their classrooms. And when you look at the data, teachers are the most important variable consistently. We need to attract and retain the best teachers we can find, and we will all be better off for it.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Reimagine college in the age of automation

Reimagining college in the age of automation begs the fundamental question--what are people sent to college to learn? Originally the idea of an education was to develop a sense of morality. For many decades now, the point of college has been to set people up for jobs. But what happens when the jobs disappear? The automation wave should lead us to invest more in human capital development. It should also drive us to dramatically increase our emphasis on technical and vocational training and apprenticeships at the high school level to take advantage of the jobs that will continue to exist.

In 2011, everyone began talking about massive open online courses (MOOCs), and many believed they were going to revolutionize education. Instead these MOOCs kind of flopped. Only about 4 percent of students completed the average course. In one case, an online math course was found to be less effective than a remedial college class in person and scaled back. People (still) learn from other people.

Source: The War on Normal People, by Andrew Yang, p.225-8 , Apr 2, 2019

Improving teacher salaries improves student success

It's been demonstrated that teacher quality is the key factor in student success, and paying teachers more is an effective way to get more talented people into the classroom. My friend started a charter school that manages to pay teachers $125,000 a year on the budget of a normal school. Not surprisingly, his school has great teachers and outstanding outcomes. We should reduce layers of administration in schools and apply the money to pay teachers at higher levels, particularly those who have proven track records and results.
Source: 2020 presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Require colleges to cut administrative costs

I'm frightened of what college costs today. Most of the money is not going to professors--it's going to administrators. If it doesn't directly impact the student experience, universities should take a long look at it and rein in their costs. It's likely that schools are not up to the task of bringing down their own budgets, and government will have to help them become more cost-efficient.
Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website Yang2020.com , Mar 29, 2019

Later graduation makes more entrepreneurs

In Israel, 18-year-olds complete 2-year tours in the military. They operate at a high level of autonomy and responsibility and then travel the world for months before heading to college. In the book "Start-up Nation," this training ground is credited as helping give rise to a culture of risk taking and entrepreneurship. By the time Israelis graduate from college, they're in their mid-20s and mature

This cocktail of experience gives rise to a mixture of both courage and impatience. As one entrepreneur put it, "When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week. The notion that one should accumulate credentials before launching a venture simply does not exist. Too much time can only teach you what can go wrong, not what could be transformative."

In this United States, many college seniors have been students continuously for seventeen years, with their professional experience limited to a summer internship or two.

Source: Smart People Should Build Things, by Andrew Yang, p. 46-7 , Feb 4, 2014

College career services should identify growing "new firms"

University career services offices should invest in identifying diverse opportunities with growth companies around the country. There should be "new firm" and "growth company" categories for companies less than five years old.

You improve what you measure. Ideally, national universities would pool resources to invest in an agency that would act as a clearinghouse and ensure that a level playing field exists between firms large and small. Our national universities are publicly funded and supported; at a minimum their tax-exempt status saves them hundreds of millions of dollars per year. What their graduates do should be regarded as an official goal and a public policy concern.

Universities and MBA programs ought to fund postgraduate scholarships for and forgive the loans of any honors graduate who starts or joins a qualifying early-stage business upon graduation.

Source: Smart People Should Build Things, by Andrew Yang, p.180-1 , Feb 4, 2014

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Other big-city mayors on Education: Andrew Yang on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 07, 2022