Special Reports

2016 Presidential Campaign News: How Will Education be Like after the Election?


Last week, educators debated the future of education after the election. Dubbed as Debate 2016, the panel of educators presented their views and predictions about education as hundreds of students, faculty, and the community watched what they have to say about it.

Just like Trump and Clinton as well as the rest of the candidates, the educators were divided into their views and principles. Some expressed their anxiety over the future of public schools, others were staunch supporters of school choice, while others present various data and analysis, thus giving insight as to what is really happening.

Max Eden, Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute and Kevin Welner, a professor at the Colorado University are in favor of school choice. Eden said that the district-based system public schools currently used is useless and unfair because it traps poorer families to stay in worst-performing schools as more affluent families move further away. Welner, on the other hand, focused on opportunity gaps and suggested that social movements and counter-campaigns are very important in bringing public awareness and change.

On the other side of the fence, Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education, staunchly defended public education and said that the choice the other party is offering is not a choice at all but it is more on the privatization of education. Burris used the pizza parlor as an analogy saying that a local pizza parlor closing down isn't as important as a charter school closing because when it does, hundreds of students will be displaced.

Meanwhile, Yohuru Williams of Fairfield University focused opportunities for minority groups are shrinking while the gap between groups is growing. He also tackled America;s failure to address racial discrimination which, in turn, fuels inequality in education.

The debate ended with Alan Singer, a Hofstra professor, quoting the Lutheran minister Friedrich Niemöller, who opposed Hitler during the World War II. The quote, which talks about regret for not opposing Hitler, was a good analogy for keeping quiet when something is wrong. Such actions, as the quote tries to convey, lead to damaging results.

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