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The Education Issues We Need Presidential Candidates to Talk About

The Education Issues We Need Presidential Candidates to Talk About

As the race for the 2016 presidential election continues on, Forbes contributor Jason Shapiro is discussing the big issues in education that should be concerning presidential hopefuls.

For one, Shapiro discusses inequality in education, where the uneven distribution of "classroom materials, technologies, libraries, counseling, support services and supplies is obvious," he said. But he also touches on the need for more uniform and invested in professional development for teachers particularly in low-income districts to be a priority in future hopeful's education agenda.

"Massive spending on teacher development in all districts, but especially in underprivileged districts, would not only make sure classroom techniques remain current and technologically relevant, it would also send the message that we value the teaching profession," he said.

"Economic stimulus for today’s middle and lower classes is irrelevant if we don’t simultaneously prepare the next generation of citizens to live into a more equitable economic future."

On the same note, he discusses the need for an agenda on assuring the inclusion of all students in the classroom in order to embrace the emotional needs of all. In particular, he points to the need to promote gender neutral and LGBT friendly environments; with the sweeping reform in legalizing gay marriage, Shapiro says promoting acceptance and inclusion in the classroom is the next step.

"A pedagogy that prioritizes inclusiveness will nurture a generation of democratic participants who know how to work, live, and govern together. Thus, educators and policy-makers both need to broaden the way they think about school. It is not just about job readiness," he said.

Further, he addresses the need for a better way to institute a uniform application of digital media in the classroom. In this digital age, the use of technology varies across district to district throughout the country. While some districts have it figured out, others are confused on how best to implement. There is no common use of digital media in the classroom at this current point in time and Shapiro thinks the presidential hopefuls should be addressing a way to change this.

"All of our schools need a new influx of playful and creative digital tools and games. Digital playgrounds and sandboxes should be ubiquitous. Artistic media creation, digital music and video production, content creation, and web design should all be part of every young child’s elementary curriculum," he said.

Read his full post here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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