Questions on Public Education for Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton
Diane Ravitch’s wrote a post yesterday critiquing questions Michael Hansen of the Brooking Institute would pose to the Presidential candidates regarding public education. Mr. Hansen’s questions were:
- What kind of person would you choose for Secretary of Education?
- How can Title I be improved?
- Have the Obama administration policies for higher education helped students?
- Which federal education programs would you expand, which would you shrink?
- How much would you increase funding for education research?
Diane Ravitch added these questions:
1. Do you think the federal government should continue to support the privatization of public education? Does the federal government have a role in strengthening and protecting public schools that have democratic governance?
2. Would you expand or shrink the funds now dedicated to privately managed charter schools?
3. What is your view of vouchers that allow public dollars to be spent in religious schools?
4. How would you define the federal role in education?
5. What do you see as the federal role in increasing equitable resources among districts and schools?
6. Would you be willing to persuade Congress to reduce the burden of standardized testing? Specifically, how would you change the federal law to ease the federal pressure to test students annually, a practice unknown in high-performing countries?
7. Do you think that every child should be instructed by a professionally prepared and certified teacher? How can the federal government verify that states are hiring fully qualified teachers?
She invited commenters to offer their own questions. Here are three I suggested I would pose:
=> We have tested children for over two decades and all the results show a strong correlation between low test scores and poverty. What steps should the federal government take to address persistent poverty?
=> The lack of affordable housing in affluent communities is contributing to resegregation. What steps would you take to promote fair housing practices in the suburbs?
=> Do you think that schools should be run like a business? (i.e. Do the rules of free markets apply to public education?)
But here’s what is especially frustrating from my perspective: I doubt very much that either Presidential candidate will be asked any questions about public education because now that ESSA is on the books the questions about public education are delegated to the State level.