TV Ads Push Candidates to Offer Ways to Improve Education System

By The Associated Press — August 03, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An education advocacy group will fund television commercials pressuring presidential candidates to offer ways to improve the nation’s school system.

The commercials, paid for by Strong American Schools, will begin airing Friday in the Des Moines market and will run through Sunday’s Republican presidential debate in Des Moines and the GOP straw poll the following weekend in Ames.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Iowa. See data on Iowa’s public school system.

“As the candidates gather in Iowa this week for the debate, I hope they will all demonstrate true leadership and raise the most important issue—the quality of our children’s education,” said Marc Lampkin, who heads the advocacy program.

The group was created by entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Eli Broad, and it has announced intentions to spend up to $60 million during this election cycle to push candidates on education issues.

The initial wave of commercials is targeted at Republicans and focuses on central Iowa, but the program will expand to other areas, Lampkin said.

The Iowa commercials, costing about $45,000, feature Abby Bowman, a recent graduate from Johnston High School in suburban Des Moines.

“I feel like the government is kind of letting us down,” she says in the ad. “When I hear that other kids in other countries are so much more advanced than we are in education it’s kind of embarrassing. That says something about where our priorities are.”

The ad also offers statistics that show 19 percent of Iowa’s students don’t graduate from high school, and that America’s high school graduation rate has fallen to 19th in the world.

“People need to stand up and say to the presidential candidates, ‘We want to hear about education,’” Bowman said.

Former Gov. Terry Branstad, who is helping the effort in Iowa, said Iowans have a long tradition of focusing on schools and will punish presidential candidates who don’t share that focus.

“Like all Americans, Iowans care deeply about the bread and butter issues that affect them and their families, and K-12 education is one of those issues,” he said.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Boosting Student and Staff Mental Health: What Schools Can Do
Join this free virtual event based on recent reporting on student and staff mental health challenges and how schools have responded.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Practical Methods for Integrating Computer Science into Core Curriculum
Dive into insights on integrating computer science into core curricula with expert tips and practical strategies to empower students at every grade level.
Content provided by

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week