Monday, September 3, 2012

Ed Reform in Election Season

There is a clear generational difference in how the Republicans and Democrats are approaching the topic of education in this campaign.
The Republicans are serving up a few comments about the student loan problem, in the context of their broad narrative on national debt. However, their clear focus is on K-12, particularly school choice a la Milton Friedman. Obviously, both messages target parents and adults. This approach probably won't interest college students in the least.
The Democrats are taking a very different approach. During a recent stump speech here in Charlottesville, Mr. Obama used every play in the book with regard to college students, implying that his party is for affordable access to higher ed. Clearly, his camp targets the youth vote. The message comes across as a rather clear pander to me, but it may succeed nevertheless.
Neither side will delve into higher ed's more complex issues- they aren't exactly compelling campaign material, and many of the core problems are at the State level.

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