It's election week, a time when political junkies and policy wonks pontificate about what regular people think and how their opinions could change the direction of the country.
Where does education fit in this setting? Several tea party Republicans are calling for eliminating the Education Department. Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle in Nevada says the agency is unconstitutional. A handful of states have ballot initiatives that could impact education funding. The National Education Association ponied up $17 million for TV and radio spots on behalf of education-friendly Democrats, but many of those ads veer liberally from education, citing things like challengers' lobbying connections or their calls for budget cuts.
Education is on the minds of voters, but it isn't a top-tier issue like the economy or national security. After the election, is it possible to decipher a message from regular folks about school policies? What needs to happen to propel education into a make-or-break issue for voters?