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Convention Ad Warns ‘One Nation Left Behind’

By Mark Walsh — September 01, 2008 1 min read
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Strong American Schools, the group behind the ED in ‘08 campaign to boost debate about education in the presidential campaign, has a full-page ad in this morning’s St. Paul Pioneer Press that bluntly says, “Our schools are failing.”

The ad, in the newspaper’s special news section on the Republican National Convention, displays a ranking of national flags showing the United States as 21st in the world in science. (The fine print cites several assessments, including two from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)

“The countries with the best schools attract the best jobs,” the ad says. “If jobs move to countries like Finland and South Korea, your child’s opportunities dry up. And so does our economy.”

The ad calls for rigorous national standards, performance pay for teachers, and more learning time and support for students.

“Wake up the school board in your town and the politicians in Washington,” it says.

Strong American Schools chief Roy Romer, a former Democratic governor of Colorado, is scheduled to take part in an education forum for convention participants on Tuesday. Romer and Strong American Schools also participated in the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver.

Meanwhile, also in today’s Pioneer Press, University of Minnesota education policy expert Joe Nathan has this opinion essay, headlined: “Minnesota schools rank high, but are challenged by myth and complacency.”

I spoke to Nathan for my Education Week story about the education landscape here in Minnesota.

--Mark Walsh

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