Maybe There Is An Education Angle To The Debate? Plus Match & Fit, College And Career Readiness, Credentials…

Lynne Graziano on pushing for college and career readiness even in the midst of a pandemic. 

Affluent Americans take match and fit in their higher ed choices as a matter of course. We can and should democratize that. Here’s one way via Nick Allen & Jeff Schulz of Bellwether. 

New data on industry credentials and demand 

About that debate….

As an education person I’m supposed to tell you how everything is really at its core about education. It’s not. Last night was not. But a few general reactions.*

First, Trump’s entire electoral viability is as the “despite all that” candidate. Outside his ardent base he needs enough voters to be willing to support him despite the abundant baggage he brings on a host of issues. His unhinged performance last night may have made that ledger too far out of balance and locked in a dynamic that seems to have Joe Biden at a modest but durable structural advantage.

Second, on Chris Wallace, maybe cut him some slack? That was an impossible position to be in and a reminder that our norms are only as strong as the people we expect to uphold them. He did alright.

Third, I’m not a Libertarian but after that spectacle I don’t know what the argument is for keeping established third parties off the stage. You obviously can’t have every wingnut up there but some new standards to allow credible third parties seem needed so voters can have a choice and hear different voices. Earlier this year when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remarked that in other countries she and Biden wouldn’t be in the same party it was attacked as evidence of disloyalty or radical ideology – we live in a stupid hyper-polarized time right now. But objectively she’s correct and it’s a point with resonance beyond intra-Democratic friction. More debate around various approaches to government and ideas seems vital.

Finally, personally. Watched the debate with one of my daughters. This is the last presidential election she won’t be able to vote in. She was excited to see a debate at an age when she can really follow it. I won’t get into her reaction but suffice it to say it was heartbreaking – especially if regardless of your politics you have some expectation for how a president conducts themself in public. The lack of any grace note from Trump about anything is not who we are, or who we should want to be. And if you need a reminder about that watch this through the eyes of children or a civics education perspective.

We have an entire generation of young people, basically anyone born after the late ’90s, who have really not seen functioning bipartisanship and little of anything beyond total partisan warfare – that’s a problem. So there’s your education content.

*Standing disclosure, I’m supporting Biden.