The Democratic debate between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton was held in the Kodak Theatre (the same theatre that hosts the Oscars!) last night. The environment outside the debate was electric with groups chanting and signs of support bobbing up and down. Extra policemen, private Security and Secret Service were everywhere! Anchors from the various networks staked out roped off areas with bright lights blaring in the night. Outside the Theatre supporters… and America’s Choice convention participants… hung over the balconies soaking in the exciting atmosphere. How appropriate is it that an education convention should be held in the same area as a Presidential Debate!
However, like most of you, we went back to our hotel and watched the debate on television (it was “invitation only” inside the Theatre), but outside our hotel, the red carpet was rolled out for the after party. As we went up to our rooms, the paparazzi were out in mass as so many stars partied downstairs (once again “invitation only”). We did see some stars, but it was just a reminder of the high stakes political climate that we are in right now.
As I watched the debate, I noticed that not a single world was spoken about public education? That is NOT acceptable! I wonder what it would be like if the political conversations at the highest levels weren’t “invitation only”. What would it be like to be a real part of that conversation instead of just hanging over the balcony? Wonder what it would be like if teachers, those actually in the trenches, were invited to the political leadership table? Is it the politicians’ responsibility to invite us or is it our responsibility to demand our seat at the table?
If you had the opportunity to sit at that table, what would you say?