Washington — The
College Board today kicked off a nationwide movement to make education
a more prominent issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. The effort
calls upon the major candidates to discuss and debate their plans for
reform amid an alarming decline in the state of American education. The
College Board launched the campaign on the National Mall with a
compelling public installation of 857 school desks, representing the
857 students who drop out of American schools every hour of every
“‘Don’t Forget Ed’ recognizes that education is the foundation of
our society. If our schools fail, then so will everything else — from
our economy to national security,” said College Board President Gaston
Caperton. “Yet every four years, the issue of education is shockingly
underplayed on the campaign trail. That’s why this year we are
encouraging candidates all over the country to tell voters precisely
how they would reverse the sharp decline of American education.
Parents, teachers, students and administrators have had enough of the
silence. This year they are speaking loud and clear, and the College
Board is committed to amplifying their voices.”
Don’t Forget Ed is an innovative, multitactical campaign that is
being launched on the National Mall with an installation of 857 empty
school desks symbolizing the number of students who drop out of school
every hour of every school day. The campaign includes a website, a
petition to be presented to the candidates at the nominating
conventions, a full-page ad in The
New York Times,
and a PSA featuring former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein
and Merone Tesfaye. Tesfaye is a graduating senior at New York’s
LaGuardiaHigh School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and will be
tweeting and speaking to promote the campaign over the summer months.
On August 15, Don’t Forget Ed will rally thousands of voices via
Twitter and Facebook in order to send a powerful message to the
candidates. Don’t Forget Ed will continue staging additional events in
conjunction with the nominating conventions and leading up to Election
Day to generate further support and engagement.
“We’re not criticizing any candidates and we are not advocating a
particular policy. We are mobilizing students and others to create a
more visible constituency that wants education to be a prominent issue
in the election,” said Peter Kauffmann, vice president of
communications at the College Board. A poll commissioned by the College
Board in April 2012 found that 67 percent of voters in nine key swing
states believe education is an “extremely important” issue in the
run-up to the general election.
More than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year, which
averages out to6,000 students every school day and 857 every hour.
Recent data show that students in this country rank 25th in math and
21st in science among students from 30 industrialized nations.
Photos for today’s event are available upon request.
About the College Board:
The College Board is
a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to
college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was
created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership
association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational
institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in
education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million
students prepare for a successful transition to college through
programs and services in college readiness and college success —
including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®.
serves the education community through research
and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.
Carly Lindauer The College Board