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Give Palin and Biden Extra Credit for Bringing Up Schools

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There wasn’t a single question on education during the vice presidential debate, but Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware managed to get some of their views on schools on the table anyway–-including a surprise comment from Palin saying that she wants to increase education funding.(UPDATE: Read the transcript here.)

“Our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding,” Palin said during the debate at Washington University in St. Louis. “Teachers need to be paid more.” And she said that states’ education standards have been “a little bit lax” and need to be raised.

That might be news to her running mate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has said that he wants to freeze most domestic discretionary spending, including for education, until he can conduct a top-to-bottom review of all federal programs.

Palin also gave voters a sense of where she stands on the No Child Left Behind Act, which neither presidential candidate has addressed much on the campaign trail. Palin said the law needs more “flexibility,” although she did not elaborate on what that would look like.

And she bemoaned the lack of attention education has received. “It’s near and dear to my heart,” she said.

But Biden pointed out that McCain hasn’t proposed increasing education spending. McCain has said he wants to freeze discretionary spending for most domestic programs, including education, until he can conduct a top-to-bottom review of all federal programs.

Biden cited lack of money as a reason that NCLB law hasn’t been a success.

“The reason No Child Left Behind was left behind, the money was left behind, we didn't fund it,” he said.

Biden said that he and his running mate, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, would not scale back their $18 billion education spending plan, despite the recent economic turmoil and a possible $700 billion federal assistance plan for the financial sector.

“We won’t slow up on education because that’s the engine that’s going to give us the economic growth and competitiveness we need,” Biden said.

Palin also gave a nod to the educators in her family – her father and brother are both teachers.

"I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her," Palin said to Biden. "Her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education … I come from a house full of school teachers. My grandma was, my dad, who is in the audience today, he's a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher of the year. And here's a shout-out to all those 3rd graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate."

Biden and Palin weren’t given the opportunity to criticize their opponents’ records on schools, but Biden did get in a quick dig at Sen. McCain on the issue, saying that “he has not been a maverick when it comes to education.”

5 Comments

But how does Palin's proposed education funding increase jive with McCain's proposed spending freeze on all domestic spending? My guess is that McCain wins being the presidential nominee. So, no education funding increase from McCain-Palin.

I have to say the it gave me chills when Gov. Palin referred to Sen. Biden's wife, and how her reward was in heaven. Firstly, because it implies that if educational spending, and teaching benefits do not increase, its ok. Good teachers will get their reward eventually in the next life, not now when their families need help.

This is scary because the reality is that as vice president Palin's power will not be strong enough to effect McCain position on decreasing educational spending.

Additionally, she is a Washington outsider, which she acknowledged herself during the debate, and I believe there little doubt that she will be a yes-woman for the first few years if McCain is elected.

Does anyone really think we can risk those years of her ceding her beliefs in order for her to establish her footing in Washington?

I have no doubt that she has a good grasp of the things that need to be done in order to better our educational system; but we need people who have the power, and knowledge to act on those insights now.

Below is a link of Sen. Obama voicing not only his opinions on the matter, but also on how to improve the program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsVimwm6xQ4

I have to say the it gave me chills when Gov. Palin referred to Sen. Biden's wife, and how her reward was in heaven. Firstly, because it implies that if educational spending, and teaching benefits do not increase, its ok. Good teachers will get their reward eventually in the next life, not now when their families need help.

This is scary because the reality is that as vice president Palin's power will not be strong enough to effect McCain position on decreasing educational spending.

Additionally, she is a Washington outsider, which she acknowledged herself during the debate, and I believe there little doubt that she will be a yes-woman for the first few years if McCain is elected.

Does anyone really think we can risk those years of her ceding her beliefs in order for her to establish her footing in Washington?

I have no doubt that she has a good grasp of the things that need to be done in order to better our educational system; but we need people who have the power, and knowledge to act on those insights now.

Below is a link of Sen. Obama voicing not only his opinions on the matter, but also on how to improve the program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsVimwm6xQ4

She was off script. There is nothing to indicate that anyone in the McCain camp is going to listen to anything she says. They can dismiss her as a charming maverick. They didn't even include her in the decision to move out of Michigan. She says when she read about it she sent off an immediate email disagreeing and saying that she wanted to keep fighting there.

Can't get much done as an outsider.

Regarding the youtube posted by Mary:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsVimwm6xQ4

Ohio included value-added in its 2003 implementation of NCLB. Will Senator Obama have the courage to buck his ed advisors and follow Ohio's lead?

BTW, One of the motivations for adopting value added was the Clinton administration's use of the Office of Civil Rights to attack gifted programs. It turns out that black gifted students are most under-served of all.

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