Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.20.38 AMDiane Ravitch wrote in Salon magazine that education was largely ignored by the main stream media in the 2012 Presidential campaigns.

The media and citizens at public forums must not let that happen again. Education is central to our future as a nation; it is also the single largest item in every state’s budget. Yet the candidates for the 2016 race in both parties are talking only about pre-kindergarten and higher education, skipping right over the important issues that face millions of children and educators in public schools today.

The Network For Public Education, a group founded by Ravitch and heavily populated by teachers’ union members, is committed to making all candidates answer their eight questions about education so the public knows where they stand on issues that impact most of our children and significant portions of our state budgets. Those questions are:

  1. TESTING: Will you end the federal mandate for annual high-stakes testing?
  2. SCHOOL CLOSURES: Will you put an end to school closures based on test scores?
  3. PRIVATIZATION: Will you put an end to the privatization of public education?
  4. FUNDING: Will you ensure public schools are equitably funded?
  5. EQUITY: Will you ensure that all students have equal access the services and resources they need?
  6. TEACHER PROFESSIONALISM: What is your position on the deprofessionalization of teachers?
  7. DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS: Will you ensure equity in education without eroding democratic control at the state and local level?
  8. STUDENT PRIVACY: Will you defend student privacy?

You can check out the answers NPE would like to hear to these questions on their website.

Tomorrow, Rachel Maddow is scheduled to moderate the Democratic Presidential debate on MSNBC. NPE has sent her their list of questions and is asking the public to let MSNBC know that they support asking the candidates these questions.

The Republican candidates should answer these questions as well at their next debate November 10th hosted by Fox/WSJ.

Congress is poised to push a revision to ESEA in the next few weeks to hand THIS president the blue print the country will operate under during the next presidency. Their goal seems to be to give Obama a bill he will sign. Kinda makes asking these guys their position mute. Maybe we should be asking members of Congress to answer these questions so we know how to vote on THEM next time.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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