Key Education Questions for the 2016 Presidential Candidates

As each candidate has announced their intentions to run for President, the Fordham Institute has run an article with the candidates’ previous quotes on education. As part of a series for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Nat Malkus has come up with five key questions they should answer to help Americans compare each candidates’ education stance. Read on for the five questions, and then head over to AEI’s blog to find out why they think these are the important issues.

  1. The Common Core State Standards for reading and mathematics have become increasingly controversial since 46 states adopted them in 2010. Have your views on the Common Core changed since it was introduced? Why or why not?
  2. Federal law requires annual state reading and mathematics assessments for all students in grades 3-8 and again on one occasion in high school. Assessment critics are concerned about “over-testing” and over-emphasizing tested subjects, while proponents argue, “You cannot fix what you cannot measure.” What is your position on federal testing requirements?
  3. Historically, the federal government has played an important but supplemental role in education. This includes providing Title I resources for low-income students and ensuring appropriate services for students with disabilities. Since No Child Left Behind in 2002, federal influence has extended into schools, shaping states assessments, school interventions, and teacher evaluations. If you could, how would you revise NCLB to provide a perfect role for the federal government?
  4. With a large proportion of American K-12 schools facing sanctions from NCLB, and no congressional relief in sight, the Department of Education has been granting waivers to states in exchange for the adoption of favored federal policies. Would you use your authority to provide relief to states in the face of congressional inaction? If so, would you use waivers to influence state educational policy?
  5. International comparisons of student achievements indicate that US high school students have average or below average adult literacy skills. As president, how would you ensure that the public education system produces a skilled workforce that ensures the leadership of the United States in the global marketplace?

At the 2015 Fall Policy Exchange from the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group, industry analysts like Mike Trucano (World Bank Group) and Robert Atkinson (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) will discuss education trends and how they are impacting the American classroom.


Education Policy