Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which future for education would you choose?

This is bare bones outline of what the two Democratic candidates vying for the nomination propose on the issue of education and comes directly from their Web sites. The McCain plan for schools, well, you judge for yourself.

Barack Obama:
(Please see details.)

Early Childhood Education:

  • Zero to Five Plan
  • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start
  • Affordable, High-Quality Child Care


  • Reform No Child Left Behind
  • Make Math and Science Education a National Priority
  • Address the Dropout Crisis
  • Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities
  • Expand Summer Learning Opportunities
  • Support College Outreach Programs
  • Support English Language Learners


  • Recruit Teachers
  • Prepare Teachers
  • Retain Teachers
  • Reward Teachers

College Access

  • Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid.

Hillary Clinton:
(Please see details.)

Early Childhood Education

  • Nurse home visitation programs to help new parents develop parenting skills.
  • Quality child care and Head Start.
  • Pre-kindergarten for all four-year olds.


  • End the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind.
  • Meet the funding promises of IDEA to ensure that children with special needs get the attention and support they deserve.
  • Recruit and retain thousands more outstanding teachers and principals, especially in urban and rural areas.
  • Cut the minority dropout rate in half.
  • Create "Green Schools" in order to reduce energy costs and eliminate environmental hazards that can hinder children's development.
  • Expand early-intervention mentoring programs to help one million at-risk youth aspire for college and job success.
  • Identify at-risk youth early on and provide $1 billion in intensive interventions, such as early college high schools and multiple pathways to graduation, to get them back on track.
  • Double the after school program to ensure that 2 million young people have a safe and stimulating place to go between 3 and 6 p.m.
  • Invest $100 million in a new public/private summer internship program.
  • Provide opportunity for 1.5 million disconnected youth in job programs linked to high-growth economic sectors.

College Access

  • Create a new $3,500 college tax credit.
  • Increase the maximum Pell Grant.
  • Strengthen community colleges through a $500 million investment.
  • Create a graduation fund to increase college graduation rates.
  • Increase to $10,000 the college scholarship for those who participate in AmeriCorps full-time for one year.
  • Get rid of the red tape in financial aid.
  • Hold college costs down and hold colleges accountable for results though an online college cost calculator, a college graduation and employment rate index, and truth in tuition disclosure.
  • Challenge selective colleges to expand access for students from low-income communities.

John McCain:
(Please see details.)

McCain’s plan is short on details and pushes the slogan "Excellence, Choice, and Competition." Here is a quote emphasizing what he will do "...place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing schools."

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