Up for debate

By Jane Callahan

While I’m not a single issue voter, I do listen to see if candidates mention early childhood education and family support issues. As a nation we face many difficult and complex issues, but I care about what the candidates are proposing to help children and families. If you’re really motivated or just want to learn more about the specifics of the candidates’ proposals, I urge you to visit their campaign web sites for more detailed information their positions on the issues: www.johnmccain.com and www.barackobama.com. If you don’t agree with their positions, let them know through the web-based “contact-us” icon on each of their web sites.

We are especially excited here in St. Louis because Washington University is hosting the vice presidential debate on October 2nd. With the recent announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate, this is shaping up to be a very big event! From the viewpoint of Parents as Teachers National Center, we are excited that both Delaware, the home state of Democratice vice presidential candiate Joe Biden, and Alaska, the home state of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, both have strong Parents as Teachers programs serving families. 

Wouldn’t it be great if early childhood education would be an issue for discussion at the Wash U debate?



7 thoughts on “Up for debate

  1. Michelle Cox

    As the mother of three children (two who are “graduates” of Parents as Teachers and one who is currently in the program), I am a strong believer in early childhood education. I know that I am the first, best teacher for my child, and I appreciate Parents as Teachers helping me grow in that role. I’m honored that these candidates will visit St. Louis and am very excited to see a Mom on the ticket.

  2. Debbie Caldwell

    Parents as Teachers is an amazing group of individuals that helped paved the road of learning for me to become a better parent. Their tools and advice guided me for years, helping with obstacles that every new parent faces – from creative ideas to discipline to old-fashioned camaraderie. Now my two daughters are teenagers and I truly believe they had a head start with our involvement with Parents as Teachers. Just as I believe it is the right time for them to see a strong woman in the White House. Sarah Palin is exactly what our country needs: strength, accomplished, intelligent, a genuine concern for child welfare, and know she’s a woman and not afraid to look like it. Though not perfect as she has admitted to smoking pot as a youth, but at least she did admit to inhaling it. She has a tough road in front of her, but it sounds like she strives under stressful conditions. Such qualities are good for young girls to see, and I, just one of millions of women, will vote to support such strength and determination.

  3. Mistie Thompson

    It would be enormously refreshing to hear from the candidates on the issue of early childhood education. That topic seems to get lost in the general education discussion, which seems to focus mostly on the state of our public schools and higher education costs. Both are important topics, but I’d argue that early childhood education is equally important – too many studies to count have clearly shown value of programs such as PAT, which should be made available nationwide. PAT has certainly helped my family learn and grow together, and my friends in states without the PAT program definitely wish they’d have had the same opportunities.

  4. Michelle Reader

    early childhood education in essential. As my two sons are grown, they benefitted tremendously with such programs. Palin being from Idaho has made huge progress on the West Coast. I am thrilled for St. Louis to host the debate. How I love to support moms in their roles ~ as wife, mom, teacher, friend. Thank you for creating such a blog. I would love for Palin to bust the glass ceiling first and pave the road for the younger generations.

  5. Christi

    I think its fascinating to consider the differences between the sides; if both keep children and education at the forefront, we’re bound to have a stronger leader that is truly focused on the future of our country.

  6. Tracey Riordan

    I have to say that Sarah Palin has certainly energized the base and shed the spotlight nicely on family issues like education and health care that truly matter to most of middle America. The upcoming vice presidential debate in St. Louis should be an interesting dichotomy between the 2 camps…I would imagine that Sarah Palin will do a wonderful job of showing how far women have come since passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920…more work needs to be done but with the leadership of such well-rounded and accomplished women like Governor Palin the road ahead appears quite bright. I for one am most excited to see the “golden path” unfold before us and I can’t wait for the proverbial “glass ceiling” to come shattering down!

  7. Siobhan

    I appreciate your comments. I am so grateful to be in a state that offers and supports Parents as Teachers. Both of my children have benefitted from it and I believe it has made me a better, more creative, more proactive mom. The Parent Educators are hard working and supportive and provide an exceptional service.

    I am thrilled the vice presidential debate will be in St. Louis and hope to be able to see these two dynamic speakers. I am enthusiastic and supportive of Sarah Palin and agree with many of her conservative viewpoints. When she looked into the camera at the Republican National Convention and promised to be an advocate for parents with special needs children, I could feel her determination and commitment. I believe she will be a dynamic force for change in Washington which will be a benefit to American families.

    I was enchanted not only with Sarah Palin’s grace and multi-tasking skills during the convention (what do you expect from a busy Mom?), but also her childrens’. It was wonderful to see how they cared for and shared in the caring of their infant brother. It is obvious that this family shares strong family values and lives out these values in many ways daily. I hope this will sustain them in the days ahead with the pressure of the media bearing down on them and critiquing their lives under a microscope.

    Keep up the good work!

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