Questions for the Candidates

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With tonight's 2nd presidential candidate debate upon us, I look forward to hearing the questions presented to the candidates in a town hall setting. 

Although we have been bombarded with information regarding the past actions of Biden, McCain, Obama and Palin, the economy, healthcare and differing strategies regarding the battles being fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we have yet to hear much about education plans and policies. 

If I could address McCain and Obama, I would pose the following questions:

-As president, what changes would you make to No Child Left Behind?  Specifically, how would you address the funding issues that have plagued the program?

-How does early childhood education play a part in your education plans for our country?

-What would your administration do to make our country globally competitive in terms of education, particularly in regards to science, technology, engineering and mathematics?

-How would your education plan address high dropout and low graduation rates that are of particular concern in our country's major urban school systems?

-What steps would you take to ensure that college remains an attainable goal for students in terms of federal loan and funding programs?

As a parent or educator, what questions would you ask of our future president in terms of children or education?

As a point of interest, On Oct. 21, the education advisors to the two candidates- Linda Darling-Hammond for Obama and Lisa Graham Keegan for McCain- will face off in a debate at Teachers College, the education school at Columbia University in New York. The moderator will be Susan Fuhrman, the president of Teachers College.  The debate, which begins at 4 p.m. PDT, will be webcast by Education Week.