Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Show Me the Vision

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Show Me the Vision

Article excerpt

I think about my dad every time I ponder how the federal government supports education. My father dropped out of high school and joined the Army during World War II, never intending to return to school. What was the point of graduating from high school when he never imagined doing anything except working with his hands and living within a few miles of his boyhood home?

While my dad was serving in Europe, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill. That law changed his entire life. Just learning about the G.I. Bill let my dad imagine a future that had never before been in his sight, much less within his grasp. That vision was so powerful that he was willing to return to the classrooms of his high school as a battle-worn veteran who really didn't fit into high school life anymore. But he went because he wanted the diploma that would be his passport to college.

Many aging Baby Boomers share my connection to the G.I. Bill. Our futures, like those of our parents, were transformed by the willingness of one president to imagine a better future for the nation, a future when millions of young men and women could graduate from college.

But what vision of education are this year's presidential candidates offering? While both candidates will tell you they have big ideas, when you listen closely you find that their platforms are assembled from planks to accommodate important political factions. …

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