Monday, September 15, 2008

Political Corner - Education

Today’s topic – education

Now that we are down to the wire, people seem to be taking more interest in my political posts! And let’s be honest, I really love this stuff.

I have had a request for a post on Education policies. I had a lot of fun with this one, since Education is something I am passionate but not exceptionally informed about. Below is a slice of what I learned over the last couple of days. There’s actually a lot here. As usual, I hope that it is unbiased, especially since I still don’t know who I’m voting for! If anyone else has requests, please let me know and I will do my best to help create a few more informed voters!




Maintain current budget, redistributing $ to excelling schools and teachers.

Add $14 billion/year to the system, using the money that is currently being spent in Iraq, and also cutting NASA funding.


Supports when approved by local governments.

Against; however, supports putting $400 million into charter schools.

No Child Left Behind

Voted in favor. Would keep and “make more improvements.” Vague on the how.

Was not yet in office when the vote took place. Would keep and “fix.” Again, very vague on the how.

Teacher salaries

Defy unions to make teaching a performance-based field, tied to student performance.

Work with unions to make teaching a performance-based field, tied to student performance but with terms negotiated by teachers.

Standardized testing

For, and wants to require every child, including special needs children, to take the same tests.

For, but wants to create different tests than the current standard.

Other proposals

· Expand tutoring services.

· Expand virtual learning with $500 million to build new virtual schools and develop online courses.

· Expand pre-kindergarten programs.

· Tax credit paying up to $4,000 of college costs for students who perform 100 hours of community service a year.

It seems that we follow party lines on this one. McCain supports vouchers, Obama doesn’t (although I’m not sure that charter schools aren’t basically the same thing). Obama’s basic sentiment seems to be to put more money into the system, while McCain favors parent choice and more accountability with the funds already in place. However, Obama also favors parent choice, so don’t be deceived only by the voucher issue. Both candidates want to keep the No Child Left Behind act, which was a surprise to me. After a lot of research on the topic, I came to the conclusion that neither candidate particularly cares about education. It's not much of a hot-button issue in this campaign, paling in comparison to the deteriorating economy and an unpopular war.

In Their Own Words:

"Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend most of the year preparing him to fill in a few bubbles on a standardized test. Let's finally help our teachers and principals develop a curriculum and assessments that teach our kids to become more than just good test-takers."

Barack Obama

“I don’t see why a good teacher should be paid less money than a bad senator. It’s important that we have merit pay for teachers, that we have teacher testing, that we do everything we can to motivate young men and women to enter this profession. There’s a whole generation that’s retiring. It is unconscionable that the average salary of a lawyer is $79,000 a year and the average salary of a teacher is $39,000 a year”

John McCain



Kyle Andrew said...

keep these coming. . .
maybe we could all learn a little if you compared their opinions on ethical issues such as gay marriage and abortion. that could be interesting.

Natalie Ormond said...

Once again, thanks for the awesome comparison chart. : )

Chelsi and Trevor said...

Kylie you are one amazing chica - when do you have time to do this? I hardly can find time to do my own research I am so grateful for your effort. Watcha got on economy stuff, particularly rising fuel costs and tax breaks?

Rach said...

If possible... since you've had other requests... what is their plan for the war in Iraq? as well as things like the economy... housing, gas prices, stimulating the money flow?

Chelsea said...

One point for Obama. I've always thought that NASA was overrated and over funded.

abby said...

thanks for the info.. I think that charter schools(though I am not a fan) are better than vouchers. I don't like everything that Obama says, but I like that he wants to help teachers and pay them more rather than make them more accountable for a test that is determined by student accountability and testing skills. Also, I don't like that McCain wants special needs children to take the same test. How are teachers supposed to account for that? LAME!!!!! Sorry I am so opinionated about this. Actually, I'm not sorry. I am a teacher and deserve to have an opinion :).