Education's role in the election, or lack thereof
I don't know about you, but I've been pretty frustrated about the lack of debate over education in the presidential campaign. Presumably, it's too hot a topic, and candidates don't want to touch it, which is why many in the education world believe that No Child Left Behind won't get reauthorized until after the second Tuesday in November.
Now with Maryland's primary just a few days away, I figured I'd provide links to the education platforms of the major candidates still in the race:
Not surprisingly, the Republicans all voice support for school choice, while the Democrats criticize No Child Left Behind (Clinton wants to end it; Obama wants to put money behind it so it's no longer an unfunded mandate). Huckabee caught my attention with his promise of music and art education for all, saying he wants to provide every child these "weapons of mass instruction."
Of all the candidate Web sites, Obama's includes the most detailed education platform, 15 pages for K-12 initiatives alone, mostly involving expanded early childhood education, NCLB reforms, and incentives to recruit and retain teachers in the nation's toughest schools. But because of there hasn't been much debate on schools, neither he nor Clinton has won the endorsement yet of the nation's largest teacher's union, the National Education Association (which, naturally, will back a Democrat). The NEA issued a press release yesterday saying its support is still up for grabs.
"There have been dozens of debates but less than a handful of questions about the future role of the federal government in public education," NEA President Reg Weaver said in the release. "Both Democratic candidates have strong records on education, but our members want to know about their visions and their plans for the future, and we haven't really heard that yet. If they haven't made education a central part of their campaigns, how can we feel confident that they will make education a central part of their administration?”
The blog Education Election (put out by the Education Writers Association, of which I am a member) has been chronicling the role of education, or lack thereof, in the campaign.
What are your thoughts on the candidates' education platforms? Do you think you have enough information to make an informed decision on Tuesday?