Briefing on President Obama and Republican Candidates on Education. Following the Republican Presidential Candidates Debate on Wednesday, the Forum provides commentary on the candidates’ record and work in education. A side-by-side comparison of President Obama and all the Republican candidates, examines their proposals for reform, looking specifically at their approach to policies on school choice, teacher quality, and higher education.
Education is our country’s most serious long term economic issue. A well educated and skilled workforce will secure economic stability. As of 2008 there were nearly 8 million STEM jobs available and these jobs will have a growth rate of about 9.7 percent over the next 4 years, but the question remains as to whether or not we will have the skilled workforce to fill these jobs when a student drops out of school every 24 seconds.
Once again I feel compelled to comment on Secretary Duncan’s unprecedented proposal to grant waivers to all 50 states from accountability provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Not since the U.S. Department of Education was created in the 1970s under President Carter has a Secretary of Education overstepped his executive authority to override a law he did not like.
The President and his Education Czar, Arne Duncan, may need to take a course in civics or at least read the Federalist Papers because they have resorted yet again to overlap and conflate the executive and legislative branches by legislating from the administrative branch.
Actor hyphen advocates abound in Hollywood. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the list goes on. The most recent addition to this proliferating list – Matt Damon. The cause? Education.
Has cheating become acceptable in America today? I certainly hope not but based on what is happening in several large school districts across the country as well as at the national level during the debt reduction negotiations, one could argue that cheating may now be the norm rather than the exception to the rule. Deceiving the American people by postponing tough economic decisions is tantamount to educators altering students’ answers on standardized tests. Neither action will help our country meet the challenges it faces.
The debate about the nation’s debt ceiling has led to important discussions about student debt. And as negotiations came to a deal, Congress was not afraid to critically examine student loan programs, particularly as student loan debt will surpass $1 trillion later this year and has already passed the credit card debt amount. How legislators approached the debt ceiling was an opportunity to not only substantively reform student loan policies, but even set a moral compass for how the nation and particularly students look at debt.
Today, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a Hearing on "Education Reforms: Exploring Teacher Quality Initiatives" examining state and local practices for recruiting and retaining highly effective teachers, focusing specifically on Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee.