The 70-year-old U.S. Republican stated if he was elected governor of New Mexico he would ensure public education as a priority issue

U.S. Representative Steve Pearce has distinguished himself in the 2018 gubernatorial race for two reasons: he is the sole Republican candidate, and he has determined to make public education his priority.

In contrast to current Governor Susana Martinez’s administration, Pearce aims to allow school districts to have more control over the course of public education.

Governor Martinez was heavily criticized for setting standards for science education from grades K-12 that would eliminate fundamental scientific concepts such as global warming, the age of planet Earth, and evolution.

“What New Mexico should be teaching is a broader range of ideas, not a narrowing range of ideas. Kids need to learn how to distinguish between good scientific arguments and not-so-good scientific arguments.” Pearce commented when asked about the new science standards.

New Mexico is typically ranked at the bottom of reports regarding public education, with high rates of drop-outs and students graduating without necessary skills.

“We have to catch kids earlier,” Pearce said, adding that if the youth of New Mexico continued to drop out of high-school the state wouldn’t “get any businesses to come here.”

Pearce wants educators to have the option to guide the path of education

“I would push decision-making about education as close to the classroom as possible,” Pearce said, adding that teachers are pressured to be “everything but -teachers.”

“We demand they be policemen, we demand they be truancy officers, we demand they be probation officers, we demand they be priests, pastors and counselors. Just put ‘em in the classroom and let them do their job.”

Pearce explained that the stress of undertaking so many different roles often leads to a high rate of job dissatisfaction and teachers leaving their jobs.