Sunday, September 09, 2007

What They're Saying About Education...or Not

It seems the Democratic presidential candidates are betting on Iraq and healthcare, giving the minute attention they've given thus far to the dire state of American schools. Though the issue has yet to come up seriously in any debate, at least one candidate has given it some thought. Here's what each of them say about education on their respective Web sites:

Hillary Clinton*
  • Attracting and supporting more outstanding teachers and principals, and paying them like the professionals they are.
  • Reforming the No Child Left Behind Act. This law represented a promise -- more resources for schools in exchange for more accountability -- and that promise has not been kept.
  • Increasing access to high-quality early education and helping to create Early Head Start.
*These bullets are the full extent to which she addresses education. They fall within her "Supporting Parents and Caring for Children" issue, one of 10 stand-alone issues.

John Edwards*
  • Strengthen Public Schools
  • Promote Economic Diversity
  • Create Second-Chance Schools for High School Dropouts
  • Expand College Opportunity
*Each of these bullets are followed by a one-paragraph explanation; these issues are addressed as part of Edwards' extensive and ambitious plan to "End Poverty Within 30 Years."

Barrack Obama*
  • Expand Early Childhood Education
  • Innovation to Improve Teacher Quality
  • Pay Teachers More
  • Reform and Fund No Child Left Behind
  • Support Teachers
  • Improve Testing and Accountability
  • Give More High School Students Access to Rigorous College-level Courses
  • Expand Summer Learning Opportunities
  • Increase Federal Aid
  • Free Up Money for Student Aid and Protect Student Borrowers
*Each of these bullets are followed by at least one paragraph explaining the means by which he would address the issue; education is one of Obama's 14 stand-alone issues. Obama seems to be the only candidate who has paid this issue any worthwhile attention.