GOP Debate Was Not About Education

By Stanford Matthews
originally posted at:
Blog @

The facts surrounding the inability of Congress to agree on a satisfactory solution to the war in Iraq and the problems of illegal immigration include additional delays in solving other national issues. The press release below expresses concern of one issue not being addressed in the latest GOP debate of May 15, not May 16 as indicated in the PR. The issue is the sorry state of education. While the effectiveness of education as well as federal funding are indeed a national issue, the authors of the press release may be barking up the wrong tree.

It is impractical to expect the federal government to solve the education problem in this country. The press release authors could only be addressing NCLB or federal funding, grants and other money related issues as well as any regulations that affect education. And money at the federal level is not what will solve the education problems in this country. At least not the ones about how well educated are children become.

Money alone does not educate children. With the exception of disasters or districts that have been poorly managed or somehow deprived of money for infrastructure, money is not what will solve the problem. Education is the process of teaching children how to function successfully throughout their lives. That requires teachers who can teach. Students who can learn. And a support group including but not limited to, a school district, school board, schools with the necessary amenities as well as parents and/or other adults to guide them successfully through the process.

If the systems, groups and individuals at the state and local level are functioning properly, the federal government has little to do but provide funding and assist in defining universal goals and standards that enhance scholastic achievement and its benefits.

The success or failure of education in this nation lies squarely on the shoulders of the people at the local level. This fact is born out by the uncanny success of home schooled children. The simple fact is some children achieve a good education and others don’t. Educational spending continues to rise and student performance overall continues to fall or remain level. To say that students are unprepared for college is only part of the story. The same Mr Gates who supports this PR maintains American corporations need to import their talent from other countries. This would indicate his analysis changes depending on who he’s talking to or students are also unprepared when leaving institutions of higher learning. The same institutions graduating students from abroad where Mr Gates seeks employees and are claimed to be too expensive for American students. Again, something doesn’t add up.

Parents, teachers, students, local and state governments have primary responsibility for our children’s educational success and no amount of meddling by the federal government will change that. The federal government can assist and enhance the education function but the primary responsibility remains at home. The place where home schooled children find success.

the press release:

No Room for ED? Insufficient Attention to Education Issues in Tonight’s Debate

WASHINGTON, May 16 /USNewswire/ — The Republican candidates
for president again took to the stage tonight for another nationally
televised debate, again paying virtually no attention to the critical issue
of education reform. This is now the third major-party presidential debate
where the field of candidates failed to acknowledge the public education
crisis in America. The Democratic candidates for president also failed to
discuss education during their first debate last month.
And while the candidates generally fail to address the crisis in our
nation’s schools, the problems get worse and worse. Just today, ACT
released a college readiness report showing that nearly 75 percent of
America’s high schoolers are unprepared to succeed with college-level work
in all core areas (Science, English and Reading, and Math). What’s more, 19
percent are not adequately prepared in any one of these subjects.
“The reality is that two-thirds of tomorrow’s jobs will require a
college education and our children aren’t prepared. It’s time for the
candidates – both Democrats and Republicans – to get with the program, to
continue to acknowledge the education crisis in our public schools, and
offer some real solutions. Because if they aren’t talking about education,
they aren’t talking about the future,” said Governor Roy Romer, Chairman of
Strong American Schools.
“One of our nation’s greatest challenges — our failing schools —
received nowhere near enough attention tonight. When only 54 percent of
South Carolina’s students graduate high school, we simply can’t afford to
let our leaders fail to address this critical issue. Our schools will never
improve until our elected officials show the leadership to fix them,” said
Marc Lampkin, Strong American Schools’ Executive Director.
“Our goal over the next 18 months is to make sure that every candidate
for president offers up real solutions to fix our schools and reform our
education system. We will continue our campaign to encourage all candidates
to address this critical issue in a meaningful way,” said Romer.
The Strong American Schools’ “ED in ’08” campaign is funded by the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The
foundations have committed up to $60 million to support the campaign
through November 2008. Strong American Schools does not support or oppose
any candidate for public office and does not take positions on legislation.
To join the “ED in ’08” campaign, and for more information, log onto:
Strong American Schools, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy
Advisors, is a nonpartisan campaign supported by The Eli and Edythe Broad
Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation promoting sound
education policies for all Americans. SAS does not support or oppose any
candidate for public office and does not take positions on legislation.

SOURCE Strong American Schools

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