Post education writer Jay Mathews is disappointed that education issues are getting no attention from the Presidential candidates during this campaign leading up to the campaign. In his weekly online column, he asks why and gets a few answers, none of which are good ones.
Other experts think that the school debate gets drowned out in trying times. Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a federal education official in the Reagan administration, said, "Compared to stuff with huge popular appeal like jobs, prescription drugs, Medicare, the war, NCLB is still a wonky topic whose particulars are mainly understood by, and interesting to, only those within the education system, not the man in the street." Gerald W. Bracey, an educational psychologist at George Mason University, agreed: "In part it’s because while education is ranked as important, talk about education bores people. More important right now, I think, is that education flies below the radar because of the two big blips on the screen: Iraq and the economy."
Translation: education issues are complicated so the candidates (and the general public) ignore them. I guess if you can’t put it into a sound bite or a debate quip, people aren’t interested. That’s depressing, and echoed by Mathews’ final thought.
National campaigns seem to be more about scoring points than making useful changes, and I guess I better finally grow up and get used to it.