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#EdReform in #Debate2012

Written by: Aaron Kinnari, Director of New Media, StudentsFirstNY

President Obama and Governor Romney discussed a lot of issues in the first presidential debate, but there was one topic that stood out online: education.

According to an analysis from VoterTide, education was the most tweeted topic of the night, with 11,679 education tweets mentioning President Obama and 22,249 education tweets mentioning Governor Romney. In all, tweets related to education represented 24% and 33% of all total tweets mentioning each candidate, respectively.

Source: VoterTide via USA Today.

During the debate, both candidates offered several points on the importance of making education for the future of our country. President Obama discussed advances made by his administration’s “Race to the Top,” program, saying:

“We've got to improve our education system and we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from Democrats and Republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools. We've got a program called Race to the Top that has prompted reforms in 46 states around the country, raising standards, improving how we train teachers.” - @BarackObama

And Governor Romney pointed out the necessity for local, state and federal governments to work together to build a powerful education system, noting:

“Education is key, particularly the future of our economy… The primary responsibility for education is -- is, of course, at the state and local level. But the federal government also can play a very important role.” - @MittRomney

The candidates spent the majority of time discussing a wide-range of other issues, but the fact that the education discussion eclipsed those topics online represents an incredible display of digital passion for the issue.

And it also presents a great opportunity for education reformers to organize across multiple digital platforms. Our new website provides valuable tools and resources for various education topics, and our Twitter and Facebook pages are a great source of updates about developments in the education reform space.

We have to continue to use these platforms to drive the discussion on the importance of quality teachers and great schools for our kids. On Twitter, #edreform is a popular hashtag to use when tweeting about education reform, and @StudentsFirstNY has set up #EDNY for Twitter conversations around education in New York.

I hope you’ll follow StudentsFirstNY on Twitter and Facebook, and if you’re interested in becoming even more involved as a Digital Organizer, please e-mail digital@studentsfirstny.org.

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