Education on the Campaign Trail

By Katie O’Neal

As many have noted, education has been markedly absent from the campaign trail this year.  Both Bill Clinton in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000 ran campaigns which focused directly on education, however this year the first mention of the issue did not come until the last question of the final debate between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.  In the face of a $700 billion bailout and looming global economic downturn, education policy has been lost in the shuffle.  This silence flies in the face of a $60 million campaign, Ed in ’08, started by Eli Broad and Bill Gates whose goal was to make sure education was an issue in the 2008 election.  Facing a harsh reality that education was not going to be able to compete on the campaign trail, Broad and Gates cut off the campaign’s funding at $25 million – not even half the pledged amount.  There are many issues up for discussion, perhaps most notably the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, but most voters are uncertain where the candidates stand.  For an overview on the candidates’ positions, check out PublicEducation.org.

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Carnegie Parents Praise Program

The Schools Attuned Program is touching more than just the lives of educators and students.  The Understanding All Kinds of Minds program is receiving positive feedback as I discovered last week in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Topics included in the Learning About Learning workshops include Paying Attention, Mastering the Challenge of Homework, Organized for Learning, Learning and Self-Esteem, and Building Alliances.

Esther King, a Schools Attuned advisor and teacher for Carnegie Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, presented the first of four scheduled Learning About Learning Workshops to an audience of more than 40 Carnegie parents.  One parent attending the seminar commented, “I think this ought to be required for every parent.  The information is so useful.”

Not only did the program draw a considerable number during the school day, it generated more inquiries about Schools Attuned and the resources available for educators, students, and parents.

Submitted by Dr. Sheryl Flowers, State Coordinator for Schools Attuned Oklahoma