PRESS RELEASE -- May 15, 2007

Contact: Shannon Murphy
Strong American Schools
(202) 870-1093 - cell

No Room for ED? Insufficient Attention to Education Issues in Tonight's Debate

The Republican candidates for president again took to the stage tonight for another nationally televised debate, again paying virtually no attention to the critical issue of education reform.  This is now the third major-party presidential debate where candidates failed to acknowledge the public education crisis in America.  The Democratic candidates for president also failed to discuss education during their first debate last month.

And while the candidates generally fail to address the crisis in our nation’s schools, the problems get worse and worse.  Just today, ACT released a college readiness report showing that nearly 75 percent of America’s high schoolers are unprepared to succeed with college-level work in all core areas (Science, English and Reading, and Math). What’s more, 19 percent are not adequately prepared in any one of these subjects.

“The reality is that two-thirds of tomorrow’s jobs will require a college education and our children aren’t prepared. It’s time for the candidates – both Democrats and Republicans – to get with the program, to continue to acknowledge the education crisis in our public schools, and offer some real solutions.  Because if they aren’t talking about education, they aren’t talking about the future,” said Governor Roy Romer, Chairman of Strong American Schools.

“One of our nation's greatest challenges – our failing schools – received nowhere near enough attention tonight.  When only 54 percent of South Carolina’s students graduate high school, we simply can’t afford to let our leaders fail to address this critical issue.  Our schools will never improve until our elected officials show the leadership to fix them,” said Marc Lampkin, Strong American Schools’ Executive Director.

“Our goal over the next 18 months is to make sure that every candidate for president offers up real solutions to fix our schools and reform our education system.  We will continue our campaign to encourage all candidates to address this critical issue in a meaningful way,” said Romer.

The Strong American Schools' "ED in '08" campaign is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The foundations have committed up to $60 million to support the campaign through November 2008.  Strong American Schools does not support or oppose any candidate for public office and does not take positions on legislation.

To join the "ED in '08" campaign, and for more information, log onto: 

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Strong American Schools, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a nonpartisan campaign supported by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation promoting sound education policies for all Americans.  SAS does not support or oppose any candidate for public office and does not take positions on legislation.