This is something new. Two rightwing, pro-voucher advocacy groups are sponsoring a debate on August 19 among Republican hopefuls in Londonderry, Néw Hampshire.

In the past, presidential debates have been sponsored by the League of Women Voters or national television channels. This debate, however, is sponsored by two organizations–Campbell Brown’s “The 74” and Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children–that promote charters and vouchers and oppose teachers unions and tenure.

This would be like holding a debate sponsored by the National Rifle Association, the tobacco industry, or advocates for abortion.

The audience will hear plenty about “our failing schools” but they are not likely to hear that test scores on NAEP are at their highest point ever, as are graduation rates. Or that dropout rates are the lowest ever. Prepare to hear the sponsors rattle on about how terrible our schools are, how lazy and greedy our teacher are, and why we need to privatize our schools. Don’t expect to hear anything about the nation’s high child poverty rate or a blunt admission that poverty is tightly correlated with poor academic performance.