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An Education Debate?

By Alyson Klein — July 28, 2008 1 min read
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Could there be an entire presidential debate focused on education? Maybe, if the Business Coalition for Student Achievement gets its way.

The group, which includes some major business organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, big names in the philanthropy world, such as the Broad Foundation, and corporations including Microsoft, sent a letter last week to both campaigns asking for an “event, town hall meeting, or debate” on education.

It seems like a longshot. Even during the primary season, when it felt like the presidential candidates were holding a debate roughly every 10 minutes, education policy watchers felt lucky to hear even a question on K-12 issues. Still, there are some heavy hitters in this coalition and a debate on school issues would give both candidates a chance to appeal to educators, parents, and the business community -- all at the same time.

And, of course, as an education reporter I’m really hoping that the group gets it wish. If nothing else, it would be a great opportunity to get the candidates to say something about the No Child Left Behind Act beyond that it must be “fixed.” So ... fingers crossed!