In this episode, host Joel Gagne talks with Marlon Marshall, a founding partner at 270 Strategies, about the 2016 presidential election and what’s to come for schools, both politically and legislatively. Marshall served as Special Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement, where he led on-the-ground enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.

In the 2016 election, public education, usually a hot-button topic, took a backseat to other debates. Marshall expects much the same in 2020, when President Trump is likely to seek re-election.
But he says those discussions around education can take place locally.

“I think education is really really important,” he says. “I think if we could get candidates to really start talking about that and… tie it to people’s economic futures and why education is important, I do think there’s a lot that can be done at the local level.”

Asked about challenges in education, Marshall points to the availability of resources, or lack thereof.

And he says it’s important to ensure teachers themselves receive the training and guidance to be successful.

“I don’t think there’s just one model to be able to go about that,” he says. “But I think there could be a better sharing of best practices across school districts.”

On the topic of curriculum, Marshall shares thoughts on how students can be better prepared for the world as it is today, and to take in a variety of information and viewpoints.

“I don’t think we do a good job in school really explaining the history of our country,” he says. “We talk about all the good things but I don’t think we necessarily go into the in-depth history of how we were founded, why we’re here and what this country was built on. I think it will really help put in perspective how far we’ve come but how far we have to go.”