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From the Podcast: A Roundtable Discussion on the November Elections & Education

The November Elections & Education / a roundtable discussion with Dr. John Marschhausen, Carole Dorn-Bell & Joel Gagne

May 9, 2016

This week’s show is a roundtable discussion with Joel, Carole, and John Marschhausen, superintendent of Hilliard School District, about education and the upcoming Presidential election in the United States.

“It’s a civil rights issue.” — John Marschhausen, on education & socioeconomics

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Absence of Education in Debate

Joel: The fact that we aren’t talking about education is a by and large, good thing. There has been so much reform, seemingly every type of reform.

John: Yes, it’s a good thing, but often politicians think they can “fix” education by reforming what teachers do in the classroom. There is no silver bullet or single law that will fix education, because education is personal. Hopefully, we are making a shift back to local school districts that work with every single student to find their personal success.

Is Education Broken?

The biggest predictor of student performance in their socio­economic status­­ students without access and resources do not perform as well as students with access and resources. Democratic candidates are spending plenty of time debating diversity and civil rights issues in the country, but not necessarily in relation to education.

Lack of Optimism

“We promote diversity and inclusion and respect. This may be the first presidential election in … over 100 years… where we may not be able to have students watching the presidential debate because the conduct and attack mode of the debates aren’t something that we want in the classrooms.” — John Marschhausen

At this point, none of the candidates on either side are running on a platform of optimism. We are asked to “make America great again” or to fix the country, all with this idea that the country is in disarray and chaos. The election in 2008 was one of hope on all ends, and schools readily showed debates and engaged students, but for this election cycle, who can say whether the debates or national dialogue are appropriate for students.

The Next Six Months

Joel: I would hope that the tone changes. I’m glad that public education has been spared. I hope the debate becomes more civil and something that educators want to share with their students.

John: Hopefully candidates will have moderated their stances to reach the general constituency. The positive to everything is that more voters are engaged in the process and voices are being represented.

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