Too Many Children Left Behind: How Do We Close the Gap?
This year, for the first time in history, all of the presidential libraries are cooperating to hold deliberative forums on several key issues facing the nation in the upcoming presidential elections. Each library will have a forum on health care, along with two other topics that the libraries feel are particularly relevant to residents in their areas, such as race relations, energy, or immigration.
On October 7, 2008, the issue that will be deliberated is Too Many Children Left Behind: How Do We Close the Gap? In a nation that prides itself on providing equal opportunity for all, too many low-income and minority children are falling behind their peers in school. In an increasingly competitive global arena, the United States cannot afford to ignore this widening achievement gap. What can be done to close it?
These forums are nonpartisan and are not formatted like typical political debates. Rather, they will be more like public discussions, giving citizens a chance to explore the costs and benefits of proposed courses of action. "Participants in a forum," NIFI chairman William Winter, said "deliberate with one another eye-to-eye, face-to-face, exploring options, weighing others' views, considering the costs and consequences of public policy decisions. In a democracy, citizens have a responsibility to make choices about how to solve problems and forums help enrich participants' thinking on public issues. By offering citizens a framework for deliberative forums, NIFI helps the public take an active role in acting on public issues."
The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is proud to partner with Atmos Energy, Blinn College, Bryan Broadcasting, Bryan-College Station Eagle, Bryan Texas Utilities, College Station Medical Center, DaVita, Inc., KBTX, and Texas A&M University to bring these public forums to Bryan-College Station. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Tracy Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 691-4014).