Education matters

first_imgThe Los Angeles Unified School District is a glaring example of how education policy has been hijacked by bureaucrats and special interests. We want better schools, but we lack confidence that our votes can bring them about. We’ve grown weary of politicians mouthing the same old platitudes without any substance or follow-through. Enter Ed in ’08, a project of Strong American Schools, headed up by former LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer. This bipartisan campaign, funded with up to $60 million from the Broad and Gates foundations, has one goal: Make education a top issue in the 2008 presidential race. Ed in ’08 has a unique platform based on higher standards, more effective teaching and extra attention to students who need it. The campaign plans to stir up voter pressure to force presidential candidates from both parties to take up its agenda. That’s the key. Our leaders won’t take education seriously until we do. We can only hope that Ed in ’08 will do its part to get the politicians’ attention. Meanwhile, we must all do our own part, and that begins with showing up at the polls May 15.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! JUST 10 days away in Los Angeles, there’s a hotly contested election upon which hangs the fate of the nation’s second-largest school district and its 700,000 students. On Wednesday, the two candidates in that race met for two rare debates. Guess how many people showed up? Two dozen, at best, at the first event. Maybe 60 at the second. Garage sales typically attract bigger crowds. The choice in the May 15 school board election between reformer Tamar Galatzan and status-quo defender Jon Lauritzen couldn’t be more profound. The stakes – our children and their future – couldn’t be higher. And most voters couldn’t care less. In the March primary election, a dismal 7.8 percent of eligible voters turned up at the polls. We’ll be lucky to match that May 15. At the very time when the need for quality education is greatest, due to the ever-competitive global marketplace, the public’s interest in education is at a low. It’s not just in Los Angeles. National polls show the public’s interest in education well below interest in several other topics. Why? Probably because the issue has proved so intractable. last_img read more