As we move towards the presidential election, the constant display of the ‘issues’ by the leading political candidates can cause more confusion than clarity.
Topics are thrown at us from all directions: on television, the Internet and even on campus. To fully understand the candidates we need to ask ourselves a rather simple question: how do the issues pertain to us? As students, education is fundamental, and each political party views the subject in a different light.
Education is the most important economic issue to the Democrats. The Democratic Party focuses on the affordability and quality of education. They accomplish this task by expanding financial aid programs and supplying teachers with more professional support and resources. In addition, emphasis is placed on providing skilled workers with necessary training and increasing the number of students who complete college programs.
“President Obama’s plans for educational reform have the potential to eventually enable some of my contemporaries to be able to afford college and reduce their post-graduation debt,” Kameron Copeland, a mass media major, said.
Copeland, who has volunteered at the South Georgia headquarters for Obama for America since 2008, believes that standardized test linking, a part of Obama’s educational improvement program Race to the Top, may eventually help teachers consider more effective methods of teaching that will empower students.
The Republican Party firmly believes in maintaining a world-class system of education with high standards.
“Jobs exist, but the education system is not fully preparing people for such jobs,” Nolen Cox, chairman of the Lowndes County Republican Party, said.
Republicans emphasize the need to compete on a global scale and a demand for quality teachers. Therefore, higher standards on the secondary education level are necessary.”
Cox argues that oppressive taxes drive inflation and inflation increases the cost of education so that people can no longer afford it.
Republicans want to make college more accessible and affordable. In addition, they feel a major tenet of education should be the ability of parents to choose where they send their children to receive an education.
Essentially, both sides of the political spectrum would agree that the American education-system needs to be altered. Both Democrats and Republicans encourage quality education; but how the system should provide this education and how the student should achieve such education is where the two conflict. Republicans take an individual approach, emphasizing the student’s effort to immerse themselves academically. Democrats focus on collective responsibility by focusing on the institutions role in supplying the education.
Student have a right to academic success. Hard-work and determination should be rewarded and encouraged.
The government has no right to inconvenience the student; yet, we are inconvenienced through ridiculous tuition rates. The high cost of tuition keeps people from pursuing a postsecondary education. On all levels of education, instructors should only be those who are completely qualified. If a teacher cannot satisfactorily carry out his or her obligations then he or she must simply be. We must expend no more energy to maintain a crumbling system.
Students need to wake up and face reality. They must take control of their futures. The first step: Students should evaluate the pros and cons of both political parties before heading to the voting booth in November.