Tag Archives: Presidential Debate

7 Alternate Questions for Public Education Forum 2020

Saturday at 9 a.m. EST, eight presidential candidates are expected to participate in “Public Education Forum 2020,” a debate sponsored by teachers unions, civil rights groups, and other organizations.

According to NBC News, topics will include: “early childhood education, school investment, student debt and disparities in public education, among other issues.”

Given the forum’s sponsors, who tend towards anti-charter and anti-choice perspectives, it’s unlikely that the conversation will reflect a wide spread of education reform views.

So I polled some members of our team for questions they hope will be asked — even if they suspect it’s unlikely. Here are seven: Continue reading

Recap of Second Presidential Debate: Light on Education; Heavy on Character

Last night’s second presidential debate was more about the character of the two candidates than it was about the issues they would attempt to solve in office. After a weekend filled with coverage of Trump’s lewd comments about women, which caused several prominent establishment Republicans to drop support for the candidate, it’s not overly surprising the debate got personal, fast.

The few policy-focused questions asked of the candidates covered health care, taxes, national security, and climate change. Moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper didn’t ask any specific questions related to education nor did members of the audience, who were tasked with asking questions in the town-hall style debate. (For a list of questions Bellwether team members hoped would be asked, click here.)

Tweets from the education community during the debate bemoaned the lack of education coverage:

Andre Perry

sara and josh

In a debate largely focused on character, Clinton took several opportunities to question Trump and his ability to set a good example for children: “You know, children listen to what is being said […] And there’s a lot of fear — in fact, teachers and parents are calling it the Trump effect. Bullying is up. A lot of people are feeling, you know, uneasy. A lot of kids are expressing their concerns.”

Clinton was likely referring to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center blaming the Trump campaign for producing fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. While it’s too early to spot signs of a statistical uptick in bullying in schools due to Trump’s rhetoric, education circles and blogs throughout the campaign have certainly insinuated it. My colleague, Allison Crean Davis, wrote a comprehensive post for The 74 on how to talk to students about character when Trump keeps rewriting the rules for socially acceptable behavior.

The third and final presidential debate takes place Wednesday October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be the last chance for voters to hear how the candidates plan to improve our nation’s schools.

Bellwether’s Predictions for the Town-Hall Presidential Debate

via Wikimedia

via Wikimedia

The issue of education policy was absent in the first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate. This Sunday, Clinton and Trump face off again in their second debate. But this time, the format is town-hall style, meaning half of the questions will come from undecided voters in the audience.

Town hall debates are known for exposing candidates’ ability to interact with voters and show empathy toward issues affecting their daily lives. Given this, might education finally get its spotlight? We here at Bellwether sure hope so.

I asked my Bellwether team members what education questions they would ask Clinton and Trump if they could be in the audience on Sunday night. Here’s what my colleagues came up with: Continue reading