I recently set aside several hours (which I will never get back) for two nights to endure, I mean watch, the Democratic presidential candidates “debate” after raising enough money to earn a spot on stage. There are a total of five hundred candidates, I mean twenty. It seems like 500. The interesting and highly chaotic format was set up like a speed dating scenario. Everyone had a question and basically 10 seconds to answer before being interrupted by another candidate who felt they had a better response. Now, some of the people on the stage, we know. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, etc. But there were a whole bunch of candidates who we do not know. I felt like everyone should have had their names across the screen the entire time they spoke. I could not tell who was who. I kept asking my partner, “Which old white guy is this?” He didn’t know either (he’s an old white guy).
Alright, so we’re watching and waiting for the big questions that we care about. What will these presidential hopefuls say about the abysmal state of our education system? Perhaps a breakout candidate will attack the school to prison pipeline! That would be a solid point for someone. A plan to fix our failing schools? Someone? Anyone? But the questions never come. I understand that health care is a priority and that we need to have a system where everyone is insured, of course. But we need to figure out who, if any of the candidates will tackle the very real problems we currently have in the universal education system also known as our public schools!
If you are wondering why they won’t ask the education questions, I think it’s because many folks know that the nastiest of all the special interests are the teachers unions. And nobody wants the special interest groups to take over the “debates” and steal the national thunder of all 500 candidates. Of course, I could be wrong, but seriously, how can we just ignore the million dollar question of education in America? The next round of debates needs to include some serious time dedicated to this issue. Kids across the country need us to invest in them and have a serious national dialogue about what we can do to improve education for the children of America.
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