Obama dishes out tough talk on education
No wonder NEA endorses Obama.
They echo the same plan: Fully fund NCLB.
Neither the NEA nor the AFT pressured Obama to
scrap NCLB before endorsing him. He
pontificated about merit pay for teachers and
they roared their applause, rolled over, and
played dead. When Republicans and Democrats
serve up the same shit, our unions should have
the guts to refuse to eat at the same old
Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday detailed his plan
to strengthen the education system and charged
that the Bush administration's "failure to act
has put our nation in jeopardy."
"Our kids and our country can't afford four
more years of neglect and indifference. At this
defining moment in our history, America faces
few more urgent challenges than preparing our
children to compete in a global economy," Obama
said at a campaign event in Riverside, Ohio.
Obama also charged that Sen. John McCain hasn't
done "one thing" to improve public education.
Obama's speech came as his campaign released an
ad that said McCain's economic plan would
divert funds from public education. McCain's
campaign called Obama's allegations a
Obama said he wants to see more investments in
early childhood education, which he said would
better train students in reading and math, and
increase the likelihood that students would
pursue higher education.
The senator from Illinois also proposed a
$4,000 tax credit to middle-class college
students who agree to a year of public service.
See where the candidates stand on education
Obama said he supports the original goals of
the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind
program, but he said teachers must have better
resources in order to live up to the program's
promise to educate every child.
"We must fix the failures of No Child Left
Behind. We must provide the funding we were
promised and give our states the resources they
need; and, finally, meet our commitment to
special education," he said.
Obama also said teachers should play a role in
developing a plan to raise their pay based on
The Democratic candidate called for the
creation of an "Innovative Schools Fund" to
help school districts develop what the campaign
calls a "portfolio of successful public school
types," including charters and nonprofit
Obama said parents need more choice when it
comes to picking a school, and he vowed to
double the funding for "responsible" charter
"Charter schools that are successful will get
the support they need to grow. And charters
that aren't will get shut down," he said.
The ad the Obama campaign released Tuesday
linked education policy to economics and
painted McCain as "out of touch and behind the
McCain's campaign said the ad was completely
"Without a single achievement on education
reform, Barack Obama has resorted to a
desperate attack with absolutely no basis in
fact. John McCain has proposed new education
reforms to empower parents and students while
reducing the influence of the unions and
government bureaucrats that support Barack
Obama's candidacy," spokesman Tucker Bounds
"Nothing that John McCain has proposed would
reduce funding for public schools, but in fact
he has pledged additional funds to improve
education -- and Barack Obama knows it."
McCain's education plan is touted as
"Excellence, Choice and Competition in American
Education." It involves recruiting teachers who
graduate in the top of their class, providing
schools with better resources, giving parents
more choice among schools, providing bonuses
for teachers who go to underperforming areas
and cracking down on wasteful spending, among
The senator from Arizona detailed his education
policy in July.
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES