Jones vows to bring reform to classroom

If elected as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Daryl Jones said he would be sure to improve Florida’s educational standards. Tuesday night in the University Lecture Hall, Jones, spoke to students about a number of issues on his platform. Jones allowed students to request issues. Education was on high on their list of priorities, too.

“We should have a educational system which we can all be proud of and a well-educated workforce,” Jones said.

He said more money should be invested in research and that universities should offer more degrees. Jones added that bachelor’s degrees should be awarded on community college campuses because only 63 percent of university students receive bachelor degrees. By increasing the opportunity to earn degrees it could result in more degrees being awarded.

A better-educated workforce could be accomplished, Jones said, if vocational technology is put back into the high school system so students have a better chance of living the “American dream.”

“I want to raise the quality of instruction, reputation and the result,” Jones said. “We should be raising the best and the brightest and groom the future leadership.”

Because some schools cannot afford textbooks, Jones suggested that students be issued electronic books so they could just take home a CD-ROM and have the latest information available.

Senior Marcus Jackson, a mass communications major, said he attended the lecture because he was previously introduced to Jones.

“I met him in Tallahassee on a field trip and I got to shake his hand,” Jackson said. “I’m not so sure that a democratic nominee can beat out (Gov.) Jeb Bush. Given the makeup of the state representatives, it doesn’t look to promising.”

Jones said the criminal justice system needs to be restructured so criminals are educated and can return to society a better person.

Vocational technology classes for prisoners, Jones said, would be the best way for them to achieve a positive outcome.

Jones said a healthcare system that both the rich and the poor can afford is necessary because there are 2.5 million people living without health insurance in the state.

Freshman Morgan Higginson, a political science major, attended the lecture because of her interest in the gubernatorial election.

“I want to hear what they all have to say,” Higginson said.

Two members of the audience addressed gay and lesbian issues, such as discrimination and gay adoptions. Jones said that he supported the domestic partnership bill, but it did not pass.

He said he would not support the ban on gay adoptions and he thinks all foster kids should have a “safe and loving home” regardless of the sexual orientation of the foster parents. He suggests that a better screening process would be implemented.