Those Other Names on the Ballot

So I watched the debate tonight, hoping the VP candidates would talk some more about their running partner’s education plans. Sadly, they mostly focused on foreign policy, which has zero relation to education. Oh well. So I went to this website Marie suggested on Monday, EdWeek’s Politics K-12, and was scrolling, looking for something interesting to blog about, and I came across this blog post called “What Do Third-Party Candidates Think About K-12?” Here are some interesting facts I picked up from reading the short blurbs on the additional candidates:

    • Three of the fourteen candidates are female
    • Five candidates are conservative
    • Four candidates would get rid of the Department of Education entirely
    • Two candidates want to forgive all student debt (one would like to make college free)
    • Three candidates don’t even discuss education on their websites or in the blogs
    • Three candidates previously worked in the media (and by media I mean “director, actress, and talk show host”)
    • One of them is Roseanne Barr

This is what I gleaned from these little summaries. Obviously not very much, but then again it’s not meant to be influence you one way or another. However, it does offer some comfort, because at least the two main candidates (y’know, Mitt and Barrack) aren’t this loony.

First, there are threeparties with the word “Socialism” in the name. Whoa, there. I don’t even want to know their plans for education.

I don’t know how I feel about getting rid of the Department of Education. That seems a little extreme to me. I’m all for education reform (I think we can all agree about that), but I think the states need some federal regulation. And I’m definitely anti-free college. It entirely defeats the purpose of higher education if just anyone can’t get it. Then college becomes glorified public school, and public school has enough problems as it is (Matt said this so much more eloquently than I did just now). And, as an Education member and, y’know, in the education system, I’d like to know how all the candidates feel about education policies and what they will do about education once they’re elected, if anything.

Finally, what makes these people think they’re qualified to be in charge of the entire country? Very few of the candidates have been involved in big league politics; most of them, like good ol’ Roseanne, have not. This is not comforting. If I’m going to vote for you, I want actual, physical proof that you’ve done more in the political world than just squawk your opinions and the fact you’re better than either the Democratic or Republican candidate.

At least President Obama and Mitt Romney seem more balanced on the education issue.

EDIT: this just popped up on the MSN homepage about – Roseanne Barr among presidential candidates on Florida ballot.

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