Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Guest Writer: Tom McLaughlin, Council Bluffs, IA
high school drama teacher
Take Action ›
Head to our “Speak Up” page on Facebook and share your thoughts about the GOP debate. Click here ›
During last night’s GOP presidential debate, I had hoped to find at least one candidate who supported equal opportunity, success for every student, and quality in our public schools. When all was said and done, it was clear to me that none of the candidates support what I value as a 26-year teacher. It was also clear to me that, in addition to this debate, I had an obligation to watch future debates, take notes, and share the truth. I have a responsibility to do that for my students.
We always hear that this is the most important election in our history. Well, this one really is the most important. Anti-public education majorities in Congress demand that we elect a President of the United States who will protect the promise of a strong public education. If we don’t, our public schools will be irreparably damaged by misguided politicians who are bent on destroying society’s best chance at providing all students an equal opportunity to succeed. This election is key to our students’ futures.
Many of the candidates on last night’s stage have clear records of draining critical funding away from public schools to give to private schools, supporting charter schools that are unaccountable to students, parents, and taxpayers, and slashing education funding and those programs that serve students and help them in the classroom.
As educators and trusted messengers in our communities, we must make sure the public is informed and not fooled by presidential candidates who say they believe in a world-class education system but have a history of starving our public schools of critical funding and supporting flawed so-called reforms that don’t work.
All students, regardless of their zip code, deserve the time, support, and resources needed to learn. I watched last night’s debate because our students are counting on us to fight the good fight for them. As the education experts, teachers, education support professionals, and all school personnel, must deliver the facts to voters so they can make informed choices about their community public schools. They trust and are depending on us because they know we are dedicated professionals who are committed to our students and want to see them soar.