November is nearing, and around the country candidates are courting voters. But, if they really want to connect with the men and women they hope to represent, they should start speaking up about a topic Americans care deeply about but which is being ignored.
A recent poll by the College Board showed more than two-thirds of voters call education an issue that is “extremely important” to them in the 2012 election. Only jobs and the economy are viewed with more urgency, and large majorities of voters see education and job creation as inextricably linked.
It’s not surprising voters care about this issue and want to hear more about it. What is surprising is that — across the country — candidates for federal office are barely taking note of that.
Let’s start at the top. One of President Obama’s most notable accomplishments has been creating a grant program — Race to the Top — that has helped spur innovation and improvements in states, particularly around developing great teachers and expanding public-school choices for families. During the campaign, both he and Mitt Romney have spoken to the importance of improving teacher quality. But considering how central the issue is to our nation’s future, it’s been a surprisingly peripheral discussion. Read more....