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Colin Powell: Education is Key Overlooked Issue


Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under President Bush from 2001-2005, announced on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he was endorsing Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president.

But first, interviewer Tom Brokaw asked him what wasn't on the American radar screen that should be. The answer: Education. And specifically, Powell highlighted the high dropout rate, especially among the minority populations. (Is Powell headed for a high-profile education policy position in an Obama White House? UPDATED: To read about Powell's existing work on the dropout crisis through his America's Promise Alliance, click here.)

In explaining his endorsement of Obama, Powell said he was disappointed in McCain's exploitation of the Bill Ayers controversy, declaring that the rhetoric and the robocalls have gone "too far."


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Great to Powell coming out for Obama, we can only hope they can get education back on track in this country. We've fallen far enough behind already.

I hope "No Child Left Behind" will indeed be left behind in President Obama's administration. The teachers and students in my school district are sick and tired of teaching to and being taught to tests. There is little to no inspiration for teaching or learning. I don't recall who said it, but it sticks in my mind: "You can't fatten your sheep by weighing them". And that's exactly what's currently happening in our schools, which leaves many talented children and teachers behind. My school district used to boast of being one of the top 100 school districts in the nation. My first child experienced part of that benefit. My second child has been less fortunate.

As far as I can tell, and I work for my school district, there is a serious disconnect between our school board and the best interest of our students, teachers, and parents. The board appears to run its own agenda and apparently doesn't have to answer to anyone or anything. Frankly, the power of school boards is frightening. There are no checks or balances. They are free to run their own agendas, and need not answer to anyone, save the Pennsylvania Board of Education, which apparently deals with nothing other than law suits. In my district, serious tax dollars were spent on high school football. Meanwhile, teachers are left to buy their own supplies - paper, chalk, pencils, pens, etc. The football team has a brand new state-of-the-art work out room with piped in music. Is there an imbalance in education? Maybe...

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