- K-12 Education
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- Who We Are
Education reform has been a prominent part of the nation's policymaking agenda for more than two decades. And while presidential elections generally turn on issues other than schools and colleges, virtually all candidates for the White House emphasize education in their platforms.
They do so for good reason. Education remains a top-10 priority for the American people even during a divisive war and amid competing national concerns, according to the Gallup Poll. It is especially salient for today's presidential candidates because the historic No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has increased Washington's influence over and responsibility for local schools to unprecedented heights. And with stubbornly persistent racial and income gaps in student outcomes, it is clear that too many public schools still are not the engines of equal opportunity they should be. Moreover, in today's hypercompetitive global economy other countries' upgrades to their education systems set us that much more behind.
That is why Education Sector is offering the following eight education ideas for the 2008 presidential campaign. They cover the educational spectrum, from preschool to higher education. They range in scope from big ideas that would chart entirely new directions for policymaking to others that would simply help schools and colleges improve what they are already doing.
These ideas are neither Democratic nor Republican. They are pragmatic solutions to real problems that both parties can get behind. They have realistic goals and price tags. As a nonpartisan organization, Education Sector hopes to see them reflected in the agendas of both Republican and Democratic candidates.
Indeed, a consensus on school reform that has emerged over the past two decades will give the next president a chance to lead on education in a bipartisan fashion. There are plenty of partisan differences on education policy today, but a commitment to academic standards, accountability, and choice for parents among public schools increasingly transcends party lines. Our last three presidents charted such a path on education reform.
We do not expect candidates for the White House to embrace all of our ideas. We do hope, however, that our proposals will become part of the "ideas primary" that will play a crucial role in the selection of our next national leader.
Education Ideas for the Next President: