Education Should Be #1 This Election Season
It’s an election year coming up, which means the American public is about to be wooed to death by politicians (and others…) on ways in which to better the country. More often than desired, all that pre-election talk ends up being just that – talk. This is understandable to a point, as there are many, many, many factors when it comes to running a country, and sometimes certain aspects get put on the backburner.
I could take days to research and analyze every candidate’s views on multiple platforms, but, as this is an education site, I did a little probing around about our future candidates’ views on education. Even though it is a bit early in the game, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that if someone is planning to run for president, he/she should have at least a small blurb somewhere about his/her plans on education; something I feel is one of the most important factors in how this country works (or doesn’t).
I found a bit of information from a fair amount of candidates – mostly the ones with previous experience on Capitol Hill – about the general positions they hold on education as a whole, but very few with actual plans on how to make things better. But again, it is still “early.” What I did see was a lot of quick mentions of buzzwords like common core, voucher programs, private schools/charter schools, free tuition, NCLB, standards, equality, smaller government, and of course, funding. In fact, I think the only thing each candidate had in common was mention of some kind of change in the way funds are being distributed.
With all the current events, civil rights, and activism going on, things are leading to a potentially huge shift in attitude and policy across the country, and I think that education should be right in the middle of all of it. So many issues in life can be resolved by taking time to educate oneself as much as possible on the topic at hand. Making an informed decision on everything from foreign policy, to economic stability, to educational standards, to what shoes to wear for the day depends on how much one is educated on the subject. Wearing flip-flops for running errands is a fine choice for the middle of August, but without looking up the weather, that flash thunderstorm becomes a bit of a setback on your mobility (I’m best with shoes, not foreign policy).
What I mean is I think we need to see an emphasis on the importance of education more than anything this upcoming year. Without education, we’re left with ignorance, and ignorance can lead to some of the worst outcomes. And since (I hope) the majority of the country is in agreement that we need to keep our kids educated, it should be one of the least polarizing platforms to rally behind, leading to more talk about how to go about creating change, and less general soundbites on change being necessary as a whole. We all know that change is necessary, it’s how you do it that makes or breaks you. Then, ideally, all the pre-election talk about such an important factor like education will lead to a more open discussion down the line about what’s really imperative in creating the most effective, supporting learning environment for all students, from pre-k to college.
Election time may seem like a burden, but if you’re really a concerned citizen with opinions on how things should be run, be sure to pay attention to how big a role education reform plays in these next few months. After all, what you’re taught and how you are taught it becomes the biggest driving force in who you become as a person, so let’s make sure that those with the power to create change know how important it is to have a stimulating, and reasonable education program as the focus.
Side note – if you’re like me when it comes to politics (moderately informed, but a bit overwhelmed) you’ll find fun cheat sites like ontheissues.org and ballotpedia.org to be very helpful when you want a one-stop site to learn and compare info on the subject