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Education Reform

The first debate of the 2012 presidential election is October 3. However, the issue of our public education system does not seem to be on the agenda.

President Obama does not want to discuss public education for fear of alienating the poweful teachers unions. Mr. President, why have you not addressed the state of our public schools? All the president can say he has done is make loans more efficient and to increase Pell Grants.

Mitt Romney does not want to discuss public education. As governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Romney advocated for charter schools. Mr. Romney wants less governmental oversight - what will he do to improve our public education? Our public schools are under attack - less and less resources, insufficient budgets, public scrutiny and our public school teachers are being scapegoated.

Why else is this issue not up for debate? The media is not forcing the issue. The result: our children suffer and we as citizens and parents suffer. We as voters have the right to understand the candidate's positions so we can be informed on election day.

To add insult to injury, school budgets are dwindling while money is being allocated to pay private testing companies to administer tests to evaluate teacher effectiveness. So there is less time for teaching children, more and more time lost to test preparation, test taking and our teachers grading the tests rather than teaching our children beyond test preparation.

The children who will suffer the most? The children who are already at risk and who often exacerbate the perception of teacher ineffectiveness: poor, immigrant and special needs students.

What about measuring the schools themselves with an eye toward the school funding, class sizes, and the nature of the school curriculum?

What about having the candidates engage in a healthy debate?

What about having a more productive debate in Congress about how we can improve public education?

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