What will the 2012 election mean for education?

Video

Event Summary

Although education was not the most salient issue of the 2012 US election season, a panel of education experts unveiled the issue's growing significance at an AEI event on Thursday. AEI's own Andrew Kelly began by asking what America's largely status-quo election results mean for education. 

Panelists agreed that Indiana State Superintendent Tony Bennett's defeat was the most surprising outcome for education. AEI's Rick Hess noted that the incumbent Republican's loss is a foreboding trend on the national education horizon, one that indicates both union strength and a frustration with the highly partisan nature of the Common Core State Standards.

Panelists expressed a less-unified response to the next four years of education policy. Kristen Soltis of the Winston Group emphasized that the Obama administration must shift public opinion about education policies such as teacher pay, teacher evaluation, the Common Core, and class sizes to make progress in education reform and improve student outcomes.

Andy Rotherham of Bellwether Education Partners predicted that both Republicans and Democrats will experience increasing intra-party opposition regarding education reforms. This is hugely problematic for the president and hinders policymakers' ability to effectively reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Despite the increasing importance of education among voters, it remains to be seen which education reforms will prevail over the course of the next four years.

--Lauren Blair Aronson and Chelsea Straus

Event Description

Over the past four years, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have touted a more expansive federal role in education, offering states waivers from No Child Left Behind Act sanctions and championing common standards, more rigorous teacher evaluation, higher education transparency and aggressive interventions for low-performing schools. During a time of tight budgets and fierce debates over the Common Core State Standards, student loans, gainful employment and reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the results of the federal and congressional elections will likely have a huge impact on the state of American schools and colleges moving forward.

Join us at AEI for a balanced discussion of what the 2012 election results will mean for the potential reauthorization of the ESEA, federal education spending, state and local issues and other pressing concerns.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Sarah DuPre
    Phone: 202-862-7160
    Email: Sarah.DuPre@aei.org

 

Andrew P.
Kelly

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