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Five Things Kids Need to be Successful.
As a member of Colin and Alma Powell's America's Promise Alliance, I understand there are 5 essentials kids need to succeed in life - members of the alliance refer to these as "The Five Promises."

1) Caring Adults
Returning class rooms to teacher control is vital to this end.  Teachers must be allowed to discipline students and deliver consequences.  In many cases, teachers serve as surrogate parents.  One-third of teens and 20% of younger children lack quality relationships with their parents.  Further, only 8% of young people ages 6 to 17 have a formal mentor. 


2)  Safe Places
I'm the only candidate I know of proposing legislation similar to Florida's 10-20-Life program which has lowered violent crime by 30 percent in that state.


3)  A Healthy Start
My years in health care have helped me identify wastefully spent health care dollars that could easily be used to extend medical access to many
more Hoosiers.


4)  Effective Education
More than 40% of parents of younger children and 66% of adolescents say their children’s schools do not emphasize academic achievement.  My curriculum goals highlight effective education by advancing a common core of knowledge and emphasizing achievement.

5) Opportunities to Help Others
My program utilizing college students to tutor younger kids after school is one example of creating such opportunities.  Similar opportunities should be made available to high school students as well by allowing them to work in elementary level programs.

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Research has shown that children who have 4 or 5 of these essentials will be more likely to succeed academically, socially and civically than those children who only experience 1 or none of these promises.

Receiving at least 4 of these promises appears to decrease gaps across racial and economic boundaries as well.

I propose truly focusing on our kids.  That's why I've focused on  specific policies encompassing each of the five promises we need to keep to our kids.  I think it's important to show you, not just tell you, the kinds of smart policies I'll bring to the Statehouse.