ICYMI: Wall Street Journal Column Highlights Smiley’s Education Agenda


For Immediate Release

September 9, 2022


***ICYMI***

Wall Street Journal Column Highlights Smiley’s Education Agenda and Stand Against Teacher Union Strike, Murray’s Defense of School Closures


PASCO, WA – On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel published a column highlighting Tiffany Smiley’s Agenda for Education Recovery and Reform, Senator Patty Murray’s refusal to criticize the Democrats’ handling of school shutdowns during the pandemic, and the stark difference between the two candidates on Seattle’s teacher union strike.


The Midterm Power of Parents

By: Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal


. . . In Washington state, five-term Democratic Sen. Patty Murray may finally have a race on her hands—with a poll this week showing her leading Republican Tiffany Smiley by only 3 points. Education is very much on voters’ minds, especially after Seattle schoolteachers voted this week to go on strike, leaving 50,000 kids and their parents in the lurch.


Ms. Murray did nothing to diffuse the frustration during a train wreck of a Sunday CNN interview, in which she refused to criticize school shutdowns. “Was it a mistake to keep children home from school so long during the pandemic?” she was asked. Ms. Murray excused the “local school officials” and “our scientific experts,” who she said were trying “to protect their children” from a pandemic “that was killing millions of Americans” (the official U.S. death toll is slightly over one million).


Ms. Smiley responded by highlighting the steep learning losses and releasing her own reform plan, which would expand school choice for low-income families, provide curriculum transparency, and reroute some U.S. Education Department dollars to higher teacher pay. The broader Smiley message is that educators need to get back to teaching “the basics” rather than “divisive” topics—a sentiment that polls show resonates loudly with parents across the political spectrum.


. . . Education is the powerful rejoinder, a reminder that conservative candidates are the ones who have all along been on the side of parents and common sense.


Democrats want to close this disgraceful school chapter, but parents aren’t nearly so willing to move on. They didn’t require last week’s official news that national testing scores have dropped to their lowest level in decades; they’ve been living that education horror. And still are.


. . . Pew polling from August shows that education is a top issue for nearly 60% of registered voters, coming in ahead of abortion, energy and immigration. Numerous polls show Democrats have erased their huge and longstanding advantage, with more voters now trusting Republicans than Democrats to handle education.


. . . A spring Harris poll of more than 5,000 parents of school-age children found that 82% said they’d be willing to cross party lines for a candidate whose education platform aligned with their own views.


. . . A spring Harris poll of more than 5,000 parents of school-age children found that 82% said they’d be willing to cross party lines for a candidate whose education platform aligned with their own views.



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