Contest Winners

In concert with the Presidential Inauguration on Monday, January 21, 2013 and the inauguration week of festivities, McGraw-Hill School Education, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., is proud to announce the winning schools for its McGraw-Hill networks® “Enter the Debate” Contest. View our video announcement of the winners HERE!


Cleveland Hill High School
Cheektowaga, NY

Teacher: Mr. Haley
Student Essay: Emily S.

If I could ask President Obama or Governor Romney a question, I would ask how they plan on helping the troops when they come home from the Middle East. I would ask this because I am concerned with the tragic conditions that many older veterans and today’s returning soldiers have to face. Today there are hundreds of veterans, people who risked their lives for the safety of our country, who are homeless, unemployed or otherwise unable to get the help they need. While I understand that these are problems that everyday Americans face as well, I do not think that the people who fought and suffered for this country should have to suffer once they come home. Heroes should not be homeless. They should not be unemployed. They should be honored for their service and not have to worry about how they’ll get a decent meal, if they’ll ever find a job or if they will be able to afford medical treatment. President Obama or Governor Romney, if you are elected president what will you do to ensure a better life for Americas veterans?


Dayton Regional STEM School
Kettering, OH

Teacher: Ms. Durkee
Student Essay: Kennan F.

If I were to ask President Obama and Governor Romney a question during the debates, it would be about the oil discovered in October off Irish coast. Since the discovery is not getting very much publicity in America (yet, at least), I would first give them and the viewers some information about the find.

The find was made by an Irish-U.K. company called Providence Resources Plc. off of the Cork coast. It is projected to yield about two hundred and eighty million barrels of oil which, at today’s oil prices, comes out to approximately 21,560,000,000 Euros (or $25,575,200,000) worth of oil. By comparison, Saudi Arabia sent about thirty eight million barrels of oil to the United States in March. However, there are even more environmental concerns about this drilling operation than with most offshore drilling operations, because it is near Raithlin Island which is a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area.

So my question to the candidates would be this: Were drilling to happen regardless of the environmental concerns, how would the increase in oil from friendly countries affect your oil policy?

This question is important to our country for three main reasons. Firstly, the upcoming “energy crisis” is something that is on the minds of many Americans and needs to be addressed. Secondly, it would show how the candidates felt about these countries. Lastly, it would show how much the candidates know about our oil imports (i.e. how most of our foreign oil comes from Canada).


Van Wert High School
Van Wert, OH

Teacher: Mr. Priest
Student Essay: Jessica K.

The Equal Rights Amendment has been introduced to Congress during every session since 1923 yet the only right granted to women in the Constitution is the right to vote, found in the 19th Amendment. Are you in support of the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment for women? If so, Mr. President, what has your administration done to advance women’s rights? Governor, what have you done in Massachusetts to advance women’s rights? If elected, do either of you plan to work for the advancement of gender equality?

Our Nation is founded upon the belief that “All men are created equal.” However, since the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, “men” has stood for both men and women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton took the Declaration of Independence, and applying it to women, created the Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848. The Equal Rights Amendment, written by Alice Paul, was presented before Congress in 1923, only to be denied, and again denied in 1972 when it fell short of the three-fourths majority needed to pass. As of 2011, women were earning 23 percent less than men working the same jobs. In health care, 92 percent of top coverages charge women more than men, up to $1,141 in premiums. Women have been granted the right to vote, but that is only a small portion of equality. For the vision of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and other female activists to be fulfilled, women need more than a vote to be considered equal.


Newark Academy
Livingston, NJ

Teacher: Mr. Goldfischer
Student Essay: Jai G.

In a few months, America will face a crippling situation: the fiscal cliff. Exorbitant tax increases and draconian spending cuts – a product of intransigence – will surely mire an already sluggish economic recovery. Yet today, politicians are more focused on the election than their jobs, running the nation! The legislative and the executive branch have been unable to cooperate, let alone agree, on a single thing. Government is said to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Myopic politicians act as if it is of their party, by their people, for their people. They must step back and take a holistic view. Only then can they work together to solve the nation’s problems. Many often blame the other party, saying it is the Democrat’s fault or the Republican’s fault. But, they forget that it takes two parties to agree!

We must ask our presidential candidates, “Why are you the best at working with others?” All great presidents have embraced this bipartisan attitude. For example, Ronald Reagan worked with his adversarial Democrat Congress to help America recover from injurious stagflation. Additionally, Bill Clinton worked with his Republican detractors in Congress to ameliorate the American economy. Those presidents had dichotomous visions of America, but they had something in common: they were willing to put the needs of the nation ahead of the wants of their party. Therefore, to find the best candidate, it is of utmost importance that we ask them, “Why are you the best at working with others?”


Faith Fellowship Christian School
Watertown, NY

Teacher: Mrs. Marshall
Student Essay: Kerri W.

As one of the many individuals who make up the future of America, I want to be sure that this “future” is a secure one. However, the recent events overseas have made my generation uneasy about the safety of our country in years to come. This issue not only threatens our security abroad, but also our safety at home.

The recent attacks going on in Libya are perfect examples of the growing security issue. In previous debates, your responses to these acts of terror have been discussed. Now I believe it’s very important that the American people know what you have planned to ensure that attacks like this will not happen again. More and more people are willing to attack the US abroad, which makes many Americans feel unsafe at home.

I believe it is very important to take care of this issue because the American people have the right to a safe and prosperous future, without the fear of possible attacks on our country. We have lost a sense of security. It is important, for both my generation, and generations to come, that we get it back. How will you, as president, keep attacks like this from happening overseas as well as in the US?


Matapeake Middle School
Stevensville, MD

Teacher: Mr. George
Student Essay: Paul L.

The question I would ask Governor Romney and President Obama is ” Why can only a U.S. born citizen run for President?” First, since I was born and adopted from Russia, according to the Constitution I am ineligible to run for President. I love this country and consider myself a US citizen. Since this is a free country, I think anybody should be able to run for President. I believe that there are many people that qualify for President now and in the future, but due to their birthright they are ineligible. In addition everyone who is an immigrant or is adopted from another country is also ineligible to run for President. I would allow anybody from a different country to run for President under these circumstances they are intelligent, truthful, and do not have a criminal record. My question is an important question to ask Governor Romney and President Obama because many qualified candidates are not allowed to run for president due to their birthright. The pledge of Allegiance promises ”liberty and justice for all.” Where is my liberty Governor Romney and President Obama?

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