Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron) and former First Lady of Iowa Christie Vilsack (D-Ames) had their final debate in the Iowa 4th Congressional District race on Monday night. The first question dealt with No Child Left Behind. Below is the audio of that section of the debate from Iowans for Local Control.
I find it very interesting that this question came after Congressman King spoke on his fidelity to the Constitution. What role should the Federal Government play in education according to the Constitution and our founders? If your not sure go here for a tutorial. Regular readers here should know my answer to that. I was also surprised that the question was even asked.
Vilsack, to her credit, brought up the issue of local control, but then lauded a federal role as “providing access to education.” She would like to revise NCLB, I’d like to kill it. Would she have criticized this if it were a Democrat program? I wonder where she stands on Race to the Top. I like how Congressman King mentioned the different avenues of choice – including homeschooling, and he brought the discussion back to what Iowa had done.
In a presser sent after the debate, Congressman King’s campaign said this:
Washington bureaucrats have demonstrated they are incapable of managing education. Iowa children would be best served by state and local control.
In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds have taken matters into their own hands by launching a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Initiative to prepare Iowa youth to adequately compete in a global marketplace.
As the husband of a schoolteacher and grandfather to five young grandchildren, Rep. King knows the value of a quality education for Iowa’s youth. King believes parents should be able to decide where their children attend school and be able to weigh in on curriculum. The real solution on education will not come from Washington and it is counter-productive for Washington to mandate a “one-size-fits-all” approach to K-12 education.
Allowing education policies to be made at the state and local level, where our youth’s needs are understood, will give our children the best opportunity to succeed.
Having talked with Congressman King on numerous occasions I’m confident and can endorse his stance on education policy making at the Federal level – he believes it doesn’t belong there.
You can listen to the rest of the debate in the player below:
There were a couple of things I noted when I was listening to the debate last night was whether they were discussing the Farm Bill, Immigration, Renewable Energy, Obamacare and the like. The first thing I saw was the baseless charges, non-factual really, that Christie Vilsack made against Congressman King. One accusation – “he doesn’t have any bills with his name on it” made me laugh out loud and I tweeted:
— Shane Vander Hart (@shanevanderhart) September 19, 2012
That was very easily debunked, and was frankly an asinine remark.
The second thing I noticed was that Vilsack kept saying, “I have a plan, go to my website.” One time she said “it has seven or eight points.” She doesn’t know this? Congressman Steve King was able to rattle off positions, bills sponsored and his voting record. She seemed pretty shallow.
It was a solid performance by Congressman King. He stuck to his principles, he answered the questions, and he handled her criticism well. Vilsack was out of her league.