NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ780983
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
The Democratic Take
Lehane, Christopher S.
Education Next, v8 n1 p56-59 Win 2008
The 2008 presidential election stands as a "change" election. The public's anxiety over the challenges globalization poses to the future of the American Dream is driving a desire for the country to change direction. The American people understand that what will give the nation a competitive advantage in a global marketplace are the skills, creativity, and drive of its citizens. Today, America's public education system gets a "gentleman's C." Public school students consistently rank average or below average in international comparisons of student achievement. A study by University of Pennsylvania researchers, which has been used to counter arguments that America's public education system is not working as well as it should, found that the U.S. was generally a bit above average when compared with other industrialized nations and in the middle in the important subjects of math and science. Given the enormous changes taking place in the world, the current education achievement gap between low-income and affluent students, and the logical nexus between a nation's economic strength and the quality of its public education system, it is incumbent to put in place a national education strategy. Leaders in the Democratic Party have the opportunity to step up to the plate and provide leadership and public policy solutions. First, a national education plan would animate the Democratic Party's ideological commitment to providing equal opportunity for all. Second, whenever the U.S. has moved from one era to another, the public has historically looked to the government to take the lead in addressing the attendant challenges. Third, a national education strategy offers Democrats the chance to best the Republican Party politically by standing as protector of the American Dream. So far in the 2008 presidential campaign, public education has not been a breakthrough issue for the Democratic candidates. To be sure, a number of the candidates have strong public education credentials, andvirtually all consistently touch on the subject. But none of the Democratic presidential candidates have discussed thematically the central role public education will play in addressing the challenges of globalization. Three principles should guide the candidates as they seize the opportunity to get out in front on the critical issue of transforming public schools to be the best in the world: (1) Support teachers; (2) Think pre-K-16; and (3) Instill a public school culture of high expectations. (Contains 1 figure.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; Maine; Massachusetts; United States