Election Day and Maine’s Education Future


At long last, Election Day is here.

The votes cast today will, of course, have a huge impact on the development of public policy generally, but it is education issues that will be foremost in my mind as I head to the polls with my girls later today.  My background is in education—I taught in public schools for 10 years and will likely do so again someday—and that has been my focus as a policy analyst for MHPC.

That I work for MHPC has limited somewhat my commentary to this point on the races to be decided today. MHPC is a non-partisan, nonprofit research organization, and therefore cannot advocate for or against specific candidates.  As a result, I have probably done less analysis of the candidates and their positions with regard to important educational issues than readers of this blog deserve.

Fortunately, the work I probably should have been doing has been done my by colleague over at pinetreepolitics.com, Derek Viger.

Viger, whose primary interest is education policy, has done some terrific reporting and analysis on education issues (including this excellent piece on the Race to the Top), and has also written extensively about the education platforms of the gubernatorial candidates. For those who may be headed to the polls today with some doubts still in mind, his analysis is well worth rereading before you go.

Viger did two-part blog posts on the education platforms of each of the three leading candidates for governor. Take a look:

His review of Paul LePage’s plan can be found here and here.

His review of Libby Mitchell’s plan can be found here and here.

His review of Eliot Cutler’s plan can be found here and here.

Education policy in Maine will change no matter which of these three candidates win, of course, though the degree to which it changes will depend on who ends up on top at the end of the day. For those like me who think that “as education policy goes, so goes Maine,” who it is that gets the nod tonight is no small thing.

The big day is upon us. Please do your homework, look carefully at what the candidates say they want to do for our schools, and get out there and vote.