(My twelve-year-old daughter's observations will be in bold. They are probably much better than mine, anyway.)
The setting: every education bureaucrat and party hack on the make all in one place. Damn few "just voters." Mike Protack standing in the third row, facing the crowd and trying to find someone to chat with.
The short version: Markell and Carney agree on the following: the DSTP should be scrapped; no funding parity for charters (but at least Dave Burris got his question in); Gifted/Talented education is a must; good teachers are a must; we love minorities and the disadvantaged; got to spend a lot more money on education; can't scrap property taxes; there are a lot of teachers in my family, and I learned to name-drop at a very early age....
My daughter liked Markell: sez the same thing as the other guy but at least he keeps me awake.
She's not so hot on Carney: he's kinda robotic and (kinda mean) but also a sissy.
Hey, I don't write her material.
On schools that "feel like family" (a Markell quote): maybe in Canada, but at [school name deleted] we detest our teachers.
On where they're going to find the money to pay for all this: they are going to steal it from New Jersey.
On year round schools: take away my summer? You aren't planning to vote for them, are you?
You could sum up this debate in one phrase: pandering to the education establishment (and, yes, Dave, to the DSEA as well).
You know who was never mentioned, either by the questioners or the candidates? Delaware's special needs students. I guess they don't figure too prominently into the plans of our would-be governors.
I came away from this debate with a profound feeling that public education in this State, despite all of Markell's talk about "bold leadership" and Carney's insistence on "learning at the desk," has become another soulless corporate product we're being sold by our ever-expanding government. All of our problems will be solved if we consolidate bus transportation and district purchasing to provide the money for every whatsis wish list our current educational leaders want to purchase.
My daughter's comment: when can we leave? all they do is promise everything to everybody and you know they won't do it.
It is probably obvious now that the wrong member of my family is in charge of this blog.