Mississippi Governor: Education Troubles Started With Mom in Workplace

Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 04:28 PM

By Greg Richter

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America's educational problems started when mothers entered the workplace in larger numbers, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Tuesday.

Bryant was part of a panel of three governors at a Washington Post Live event when moderator Mary Jordan asked, "How did America get so mediocre?"

"I'm going to get in trouble if I . . . " Bryant began. "Do you want me to tell the truth? You know, I think, both parents became, both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace."

Bryant was quick to add, "It's not a bad thing . . . But now both parents are working, they're pursuing their careers. And it's a great American story now that women are certainly in the workplace."

"So it's the mother's place to teach them to read?" Jordan asked.

"No, no, no. But there was that loving, nurturing opportunity that both parents had a little bit of time," the Republican governor said, adding that his father was a reader. He was a mechanic and didn't attend college. "But he was a reader, and he had a little bit more time with me."

Today's parents are so time-challenged, he said, both the mother and father, are working overtime and trying to "balance both of them in the workplace."

He said two parents working is "just one of the small features that we see."

Bryant also said that the U.S. is losing ground because other countries invest more in education, The Washington Post reports.

Democratic Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Republcian New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez also were on the panel.

"There is a lack of urgency on the part of the public . . . that we are in a new world," Markell said in answer to the question.

Martinez blamed the lack of urgency on adults, the Post reported. "Education became adult-driven and not child-driven," she said, an allusion to teachers' unions seeking their own needs rather than those of their students.

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