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Education Policies Influence West Virginia U. Voters

This story was written by Valerie Hyde, The Daily Athenaeum

Education in the U.S. is an issue that is constantly debated among the two presidential candidates, and how these candidates aim to reform educational policies may, in turn, affect the outcome of the election.The No Child Left Behind Act, instated in 2001 by President George W. Bush, is a topic within each politicians educational platform that will define their success among people concerned with the future of education in the country.Within the act lies issues that must be addressed, including standardized tests, quality of education, accountability, funding and equality, among many others.Coryssa Collins, senior education major at West Virginia University, believes that these problems are too great to ignore.Both senators John McCain and Barack Obama wish to improve the NCLB Act by focusing on individualized success rather than group averages, improvement of assessments and a greater accountability for teachers and schools.However, Collins thinks Obamas emphasis on reforming Bushs NCLB Act is greater than McCains which is the basis of her decision on who to vote for in the upcoming election.If you ask any education major here, theyll tell you that standardized testing is not the best means of measuring student learning. NCLB stresses out teachers, schools, school districts just everyone and I would really like to see Obama help out on this major issue within education, she said.Ernest Goeres, a professor of the Educational Leadership Studies program, believes voters need to do research of their own.(Educated voters) think rationally rather than emotionally. They tend to look at issues in-depth rather than superficially ... Their voting preferences are bias-free in terms of gender, race or national origin, Goeres said.He further said that people shouldnt refuse to vote for a candidate because its a her or a green or yellow one.According to Goeres, the best way to make a decision based on a politicians stance on any issue is to educate oneself.When people would rather watch Dancing with the Stars than the debates or other types of shows that would educate them on the electoral candidates, its a mistake, he said.Regardless of a persons desires for the world of education, Collins believes that something needs to be done to make things better.Being an education major really affects my decision because education will be my career, she said. Everyone in education would like to see a change. I would definitely like to see a change before Im in the classroom full time.

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