Published: Nov. 1, 2012

Faculty conversations: Sarah Reckhow

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Next week, Americans will head to the polls to cast their vote for president of the United States. Among them will be millions of college students.

“Students will grow up and become voters and become our future political leaders, so they have the opportunity to shape and influence what happens in the political system,” said Sarah Reckhow, assistant professor of political science.

Education policy may not have been in the forefront of the 2012 presidential election, but Reckhow says the candidates want to talk about it.

“In the debates, there haven’t really been questions on education, but the candidates keep bringing it up. They’ll bring it up in reference to a question about gun control, or a question about the economy. They clearly want to talk about it; they clearly regard it as important,” she said.

President Barack Obama is for a fairly clear federal role in education, Reckhow said. Obama’s plan gives more students access to student loans and extends the amount of time students have to pay them off.

Mitt Romney, because he comes out of the Republican Party, has a little skepticism about the role of the federal government in education, Reckhow said. However, Romney isn’t as far right as most and does accept some federal role in education.

“It’s interesting, because if you look at education compared to other policies, the candidates aren’t as different as you may think,” Reckhow said.

After next week, when all the ballots have been counted, Reckhow will turn her attention to college basketball. Although she grew up in North Carolina, she has learned to love the Spartans.

And later this month, Oxford University Press will publish Reckhow’s book titled “Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics,” which she has been working on since her dissertation in 2007.

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Sarah Reckhow, assistant professor of political science. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Sarah Reckhow, assistant professor of political science. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

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