With the 2008 Presidential election campaign underway, we thought it would be interesting to hear what some of the politicos think about the state of education in America, and what they think should be done to improve it. To start the dialog, here are our interviews with two experienced government leaders and acknowledged 'big thinkers'.
Bill Richardson is a Democrat, running for president. He is currently in his second term as Governor of New Mexico. He formerly served as the US Secretary of the Department of Energy and UN Ambassador under Bill Clinton, and in the House of Representatives from 1983-1997. He served as a staff member for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1975-1978, and in the US State Department from 1973-1975. He has a Masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA degree from Tufts University. He has also held several academic positions, including as a Professor at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Newt Gingrich is a Republican, perhaps best known as the architect of the 'Contract with America', the 1994 political platform that helped his party win control of the US House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years in 1994. Time Magazine named him 'Man of the Year' in 1995, and he was elected Speaker of the House from 1995-1999. He formerly served in the House as a Representative from Georgia for twenty years. Since leaving Congress, he has become an active public speaker and author, and has served on a number of highly regarded public service boards and commissions. He has Masters and Doctorate degrees in Modern European History from Tulane University, and a Bachelors degree from Emory. He also held an academic position at West Georgia College, prior to his election to Congress.