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Highlights of McCain's Education Plan


Sen. John McCain, who just months ago didn't even list "education" on his list of issues on his web site, has finally unveiled his education plan.

In a speech today to the NAACP in Cincinnati, he hit on three big themes: school choice, technology, and teacher quality. (Read the transcript here). My colleague Alyson Klein will weigh in more later, but I wanted to pass along highlights of his plan:

  • On school choice—He wants to expand the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program from $13 million to $20 million, and allocate $500 million in existing federal funds to build new virtual schools and expand other online offerings for students. He wants to allow tutoring programs to bypass "local bureaucracy" for certification under No Child Left Behind and go straight to the even larger bureaucracy of the federal government for direct certification.

  • On technology—He proposes a $250 million grant program to states who want to further expand online learning opportunities and another $250 million in scholarships for students who want to take advantage of online tutors or virtual schools.

  • On teacher quality—McCain would dedicate 60 percent of the $3 billion under NCLB's Title II to incentive bonuses (not exactly merit pay) for teachers who teach in hard-to-staff schools or subjects, and who are highest achieving (which, to me, means their students make the biggest gains on tests.) He wants to devote 5 percent to recruit teachers who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class, and the remaining 35 percent of Title II money would go to professional development.

Notably, his plan offers very little detail about how he might approach the reauthorization of NCLB. His only specific plan is to open up tutoring programs to federal certification, but beyond that, his plan talks more about the "promise" of NCLB than the specifics. In fact, during his speech—according to the transcript as prepared for delivery—he didn't even mention the words "No Child Left Behind."


Teacher quality incentives are a must, though I don't know if McCain's plan offers enough... It seems like you don't think so either.

As for the importance of education, I think it'll be good for you to read the blog I've made as my URL. It shows what happens when students slip through the cracks - it indirectly stresses the importance of engaging teachers.

you say u wanna build nuclier power plants butwe neeed to go green u will single handedly kill all man kind to trick silly people into picking you to have a job you should be a shamed of your self also u want kids to run a muck and belive me we will if you let us no educational plan obamas might not be that great but not having one is even worst you , so what if your a veteran your a person too and you need lakes and trees not nuclier waste we all breath

The promotion of online learning and online education by a candidate who doesn't consider himself computer literate is a commendable effort. He himself may not be a consumer of online information but he does seem to recognize the importance of online learning in today's technological world.

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