None of the candidates were there but they overshadowed the hearing of the National Commission on No Child Left Behind in Washington, D.C.
The commission held the hearing to push Congress to pass the reauthorization of the Act. And the co-chairmen of the commission had some choice words about the election and the lack of an education theme.
"Why can't we get the candidates to talk about...issues that are important?" asked Tommy Thompson, former Wisconsin governor and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, who made a short run at the candidacy. "Maybe we can start a surge on No Child Left Behind."
And his co-chairman, former Georgia governor Roy Barnes, made similar pointed remarks. "Education should be the number one issue that should be discussed and it is not," he said. "This is about whether this is a competitive nation in a competitive world."
That led to some spontaneous applause from part of the overflow audience in the Caucus Room of the Senate's Russell Building.