Education dwindles as an issue in national, local elections

Alan Borsuk:

That’s not a platform. It’s a couple of slogans, a vague concept, and a sort-of position that has been pretty much already settled in favor of Trump’s view. The education law passed a few months ago by Congress stops the federal government from promoting the Common Core education standards and shifts education decision-making generally back toward states.

Trump has a lot of company in downplaying education. In both the Republican and Democratic presidential races, none of the candidates has made kindergarten through 12th-grade issues prominent.

Turning the focus more locally, Milwaukee has a race for mayor underway in which education is not a major issue.

On the other hand, education is a hot issue in the race for county executive, an office that historically has nothing to do with schools. A new state law makes the country executive a key figure in what lies ahead. Who expected that a year ago?

But nationwide, I suggest, education is waning as an issue, after some years in which it was a bigger deal. I suspect a major reason is a broad sense of fatigue with education debates — they’ve gone on for so long and brought so little improvement. The surge of anti-big government sentiment is an important factor also.

How much is education in the backwaters of the presidential campaign?