Ask the Candidates about Education at Presidential Debates
- Posted to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
To: Jim Lehrer (Host of "NewsHour" on PBS), Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent), Bob Schieffer (Host of "Face the Nation" on CBS), Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent and VP debate moderator)
It wasn't until the very last question of the very last debate that the candidates were asked about education policy during the 2008 presidential debates.
It was too little, too late.
Please address education policy -- especially early childhood education and literacy -- early and often during the 2012 presidential debates.
This petition closed on October 22, 2012.
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Study after study underscores the importance of adequately preparing students for success even before they enter a classroom, starting with reading at an early age.
But there is only 1 book for every 300 children in low-income communities in the U.S.
The child without books is on his or her way to becoming ...
• 1 of the 33 percent of 4th graders who cannot read at the basic level
• 1 of the 7,000 students who drop out of high school every school day
• 1 of the 40 million adults who cannot read
Imagine the difference we could make if early education were a central focus for our domestic policy. Imagine the implications for joblessness and our global competitiveness. For our families and our communities. For our future.
But in the last presidential debates, it wasn't until the final debate and the final question that a moderator -- Mr. Schieffer, who is again moderating the final debate -- even asked about education.
There is a substantial return on investment when it comes to early childhood education. With the economy and joblessness at the center of this campaign, the electorate is looking for answers that are efficient and effective.
We deserve to hear the candidates' stance on early childhood education when it comes to addressing today's problems and tomorrow's opportunities.
UPDATE: During the first presidential debate of 2012, education was raised by the moderator. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't go deeper into the issue. For more about the differences between the candidates on education, read 'Obama vs. Romney 101: 5 differences in education' in the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2012/0827/Obama-vs.-Romney-101-5-differences-on-education/K-12-spending
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