To put it mildly, poverty alleviation has not been a Republican theme in the current cycle. To some degree, this is an understandable reaction to the disappointments of the Bush presidency. But what is understandable is not necessarily right.
Rather than scripting our K-12 experience, and expecting miracles when we get to college that we'll suddenly have clarity about our interests, we have to start asking students what turns them on earlier.
If education is failing in the United States, it is doing so because of the wounds being inflicted upon it by our elected officials and educational bureaucrats. The only way to see our children's lives improve is to remember that the public schools are not the problem.
Although some people really want to improve the system for our children, there are also those who see our schools as a way to bring about their vision of a 21st century America -- which sometimes looks a lot like 1984.
One of the lessons we've learned from No Child Left Behind, like many other federal laws, is that it was disproportionately weighted toward the needs of suburban and urban kids and left far too many children in rural school districts, well, behind.