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An Education Debate?

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Could there be an entire presidential debate focused on education? Maybe, if the Business Coalition for Student Achievement gets its way.

The group, which includes some major business organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, big names in the philanthropy world, such as the Broad Foundation, and corporations including Microsoft, sent a letter last week to both campaigns asking for an "event, town hall meeting, or debate" on education.

It seems like a longshot. Even during the primary season, when it felt like the presidential candidates were holding a debate roughly every 10 minutes, education policy watchers felt lucky to hear even a question on K-12 issues. Still, there are some heavy hitters in this coalition and a debate on school issues would give both candidates a chance to appeal to educators, parents, and the business community -- all at the same time.

And, of course, as an education reporter I'm really hoping that the group gets it wish. If nothing else, it would be a great opportunity to get the candidates to say something about the No Child Left Behind Act beyond that it must be "fixed." So ... fingers crossed!

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If you read a publication called EDWEEK, the latest issue already carries a comprehensive and specific list of the sharp differences between the two candidates, written by Alyson Klein (oh, that's you).

No need to cross your fingers. It's all out there. A debate sponsored by Gates and Broad, held in front of the corporate folks and big money guys, is not likely to produce anything clearer.

The amusing part of your article is the attempt by the Ed Trust to support both of the two mutually exclusive positions at the same time. I guess they're covering their bets on future funding.

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