Winter 2008(vol. 8, no. 1) forum by RyanClayton



                                                Election 2008:
In the 2000 election, President Bush’s          T H E E D U C AT I O N
pledge to combat the “soft bigotry of

low expectations” was a pillar of his com-
passionate conservatism and crucial to his
razor-thin margin of victory. That election
begat the now-controversial No Child
Left Behind Act (NCLB). The law has split the Right between those who cheer accountability and
those who jeer federal overreach and insufficient attention to school choice. Among the Left, those
who see a punitive law that’s unfair to teachers scuffle with NCLB hawks committed to closing
racial achievement gaps. So far, those debates have drawn little attention on the stump, as the
                                                campaigns focus on Iraq and immigration, terror-
                                                ism and taxes. Will education matter in ’08? Are
                                                the political parties as deeply divided on educa-
                                                tion issues as on tax issues and foreign policy? Two
                                                leading political consultants—Democrat Chris
                                                Lehane and Republican David Winston—offer their
                                                takes. Lehane calls for the Democrats to seize
                                                the mantle of reform, while Winston assures
                                                GOP candidates they need only to stay the course.

                                                The Democratic Take

                                                by Christopher S. Lehane           ..................         56

                                                The Right Republican Strategy

                                                by David Winston     ............................             61

ILLUSTRATION / JAMES STEINBERG                                               W I N T E R 2 0 0 8 / E D U C AT I O N N E X T   55

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