Sunday, October 12, 2008

Register Looks at Obama and McCain's Education Plans

The Des Moines Register took a look at the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain's education plans and they conclude that Obama's plan is better.

That's because Senator McCain in large measure relies on what he calls the fundamental principles of competition and choice. He favors government vouchers so parents can choose their child's school and believes this market factor would lead to higher-quality education.

One problem: Vouchers send public dollars to private, religious schools, a church-state line that should not be crossed. Another: While some families may indeed benefit, others will lose out. Vouchers would drain dollars from some public schools, yet some children still would attend them, left to learn with less.

That would not deliver equal access to excellent education for all.

The United States should be able to boast about outstanding public schools everywhere, for every child.

Obama's vision for education would move the country closer to seeing that happen. His plan calls for making math and science education a "national priority" - recognizing that U.S. youngsters lag peers worldwide in these subjects.

Obama also understands many children need a broader support system. He would expand after-school programs and start initiatives in middle schools to cut high school dropout rates. That receives less emphasis from McCain, who would offer access to tutoring for struggling students.

The Register then talks about Obama's plan to give college students a $4,000 tax credit to pay for tuition. The tax credit would basically cover the cost of community college and would allow more students to further education and gain the job training they need to compete in the global economy.

1 comment:

JoeyFink said...

School choice isn't always a bad thing. I teach for a charter school in a district where there is parent choice. In Hartford, parents enter their students into a lottery and they can choose a variety of schools (charter, magnet, or traditional) to send their children. Schools that do not perform, and thus do not have parents willing to send their children there, are reorganized and restaffed. Choice, competition, and an environment where administrators and teachers are held liable for the achievement of their students can work. I don't want a school in Hartford, CT where I teach or anywhere else to be able to slide by doing the same old thing every year and having the kids suffer the consequences. Democrats (and I am a very proud one) are too scared to open up public schools to accountability, which has been lacking. I am accountable for the progress of my 29 Kindergarten students and I wouldn't have it any other way.