Saturday, June 14, 2008

Candidates Are at Odds Over K-12

DFER's Joe Williams with a great quote in this article about the presidential candidates' views on improving public education:

While the NEA waited until Sen. Obama had essentially locked up the nomination before making any endorsement, the 1.3 million-member American Federation of Teachers was an early supporter of Sen. Clinton and worked actively on her behalf.

Because neither national teachers’ union supported Sen. Obama during the primaries, he may have the opportunity to be a “different kind of Democrat,” said Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a New York City-based political action committee that contributes money to Democratic candidates.

“He’s earned his independence so that he can really decide which of the unions’ positions he really wants to embrace and which ones he doesn’t,” Mr. Williams said. “The conventional wisdom is the time that you’ve got to pander to the unions is during the primary. He emerged victorious without [their help].”



Candidates Are at Odds Over K-12

But McCain and Obama Both Back NCLB Goals

By Alyson Klein and David J. Hoff

The presumed November matchup produced by the long presidential-primary season that ended last week offers contrasting approaches to K-12 policy, along with some common ground on the basics of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who last week secured enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, both express support for the NCLB law’s goals and its use of testing to measure schools’ success.

But Sen. McCain would promote market forces as a way to spur school improvement, and would likely seek to freeze education spending as part of a review of the effectiveness of federal programs.

Sen. Obama, meanwhile, promises to search for new ways of assessing students and to invest significantly in efforts to improve teacher quality.


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