from the campaign websites…
McCain on Education
Excellence, Choice, and Competition
in American Education
John McCain believes American education must be worthy of the promise we make to our children and ourselves. He understands that we are a nation committed to equal opportunity, and there is no equal opportunity without equal access to excellent education.
Public education should be defined as one in which our public support for a child's education follows that child into the school the parent chooses. The school is charged with the responsibility of educating the child, and must have the resources and management authority to deliver on that responsibility. They must also report to the parents and the public on their progress.
The deplorable status of preparation for our children, particularly in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world, does not allow us the luxury of eliminating options in our educational repertoire. John McCain will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes.
No Child Left Behind has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard. John McCain believes that we can no longer accept low standards for some students and high standards for others. In this age of honest reporting, we finally see what is happening to students who were previously invisible. While that is progress all its own, it compels us to seek and find solutions to the dismal facts before us.
John McCain believes our schools can and should compete to be the most innovative, flexible and student-centered - not safe havens for the uninspired and unaccountable. He believes we should let them compete for the most effective, character-building teachers, hire them, and reward them.
If a school will not change, the students should be able to change schools. John McCain believes parents should be empowered with school choice to send their children to the school that can best educate them just as many members of Congress do with their own children. He finds it beyond hypocritical that many of those who would refuse to allow public school parents to choose their child's school would never agree to force their own children into a school that did not work or was unsafe. They can make another choice. John McCain believes that is a fundamental and essential right we should honor for all parents.
As president, John McCain will pursue reforms that address the underlying cultural problems in our education system - a system that still seeks to avoid genuine accountability and responsibility for producing well-educated children.
John McCain will place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing school.
John McCain's Plan for Strengthening America's Schools
Today, John McCain Outlined His Vision For Strengthening Education To Ensure Opportunity For Every American. John McCain's education policy removes needless bureaucracy, empowers parents, teachers and principals and ensures that every child has the opportunity to gain from a quality education.
John McCain's Education Principles:
John McCain Will Enact Meaningful Reform In Education. Now is the time to demand real, new reform earned through discipline, grinding work, tough choices and leadership. John McCain has dedicated his career in public service to the hard and sometimes unpopular work of achieving meaningful reform.
The Education System Must Provide For Equality Of Choice. Too many of our children are trapped by geography and by economics in failing schools.
We Must Empower Parents. Involved and empowered parents and excellent teachers are the two greatest determining factors in a child's education. If we are to succeed, we must empower committed parents with critical knowledge about their child's performance, and empower them with real and meaningful choices to act upon that knowledge.
We Must Empower Teachers. If America is to truly reform public education and make good on the promise of individual freedom and independence through knowledge, we must ensure that every child has the opportunity to be inspired and motivated to achieve their potential by a strong classroom leader.
John McCain's Education Policy:
John McCain Will Build On The Lessons Of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). There should be an emphasis on standards and accountability. However, our goal cannot be group averages. Instead, our focus should be to inspire every child to strive to reach his or her potential. While NCLB has been invaluable in providing a clear picture of which schools and students are struggling, it is only the beginning of education reform.
John McCain Will Provide Effective Education Leadership. John McCain is committed to high standards and accountability, but he is also committed to providing the resources needed to succeed. He believes we should invest in people, parents and reward achievement.
John McCain Will Work To Ensure That Our Children Have Quality Teachers. The single biggest challenge in turning around a failing school is getting quality teachers into that school. To overcome this challenge, John McCain will:
Encourage Alternative Certification Methods That Open The Door For Highly Motivated Teachers To Enter The Field. John McCain will devote five percent of Title II funding to states to recruit teachers who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class or who participate in an alternative teacher recruitment program such as Teach for America, the New York City Teaching Fellowship Program, the New Teacher Project, or excellent university initiatives.
Provide Bonuses For Teachers Who Locate In Underperforming Schools And Demonstrate Strong Leadership As Measured By Student Improvement. John McCain will devote 60 percent of Title II funding for incentive bonuses for high performing teachers to locate in the most challenging educational settings, for teachers to teach subjects like math and science, and for teachers who demonstrate student improvement. Payments will be made directly to teachers. Funds should also be devoted to provide performance bonuses to teachers who raise student achievement and enhance the school-wide learning environment. Principals may also consider other issues in addition to test scores such as peer evaluations, student subgroup improvements, or being removed from the state's "in need of improvement" list.
Provide Funding For Needed Professional Teacher Development. Where federal funds are involved, teacher development money should be used to enhance the ability of teachers to perform in today's technology driven environment. We need to provide teachers with high quality professional development opportunities with a primary focus on instructional strategies that address the academic needs of their students. The first 35 percent of Title II funding would be directed to the school level so principals and teachers could focus these resources on the specific needs of their schools.
John McCain Believes We Must Empower School Principals With Greater Control Over Spending. Funding cannot be effectively apportioned in Washington, but it shouldn't be a state-level official or district bureaucrat either. The money must be controlled by the leader we hold accountable: the school principal with a single criterion to raise student achievement.
John McCain Will Make Real The Promise Of NCLB By Giving Parents Greater Choice. Choice is the best way to protect children against a failing bureaucracy. But parents must have more control over the money.
John McCain Will Expand The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. In our nation's capital, we have seen the dramatic benefits of giving parents control of money and choices. The Opportunity Scholarship program serves more than 1,900 students from families with an average income of $23,000 a year. More than 7,000 more families have applied for that program. The budget for the Opportunity Scholarships is currently $13 million. John McCain believes that this extremely successful program should expand to at least $20 million benefiting nearly a thousand more families.
John McCain Will Ensure Children Struggling To Meet State Standards Will Have Immediate Access To High Quality Tutoring Programs. Local school districts can certify education service providers but providers can also bypass the local bureaucracy and receive direct federal certification. Education service providers can then market directly to parents. Title I money will be directed straight to the provider.
John McCain Supports Expanding Virtual Learning By Reforming The "Enhancing Education Through Technology Program." John McCain will target $500 million in current federal funds to build new virtual schools and support the development of online course offerings for students. These courses may be for regular coursework, for enhancement, or for dual enrollment into college.
John McCain Will Allocate $250 Million Through A Competitive Grant Program To Support States That Commit To Expanding Online Education Opportunities. States can use these funds to build virtual math and science academies to help expand the availability of AP Math, Science, and Computer Sciences courses, online tutoring support for students in traditional schools, and foreign language courses.
John McCain Will Offer $250 Million For Digital Passport Scholarships To Help Students Pay For Online Tutors Or Enroll In Virtual Schools. Low-income students will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 to enroll in an online course, SAT/ACT prep course, credit recovery or tutoring services offered by a virtual provider. Providers could range from other public schools, virtual charter schools, home school parents utilizing virtual schooling resources or district or state sponsored virtual schools. The Department of Education would competitively award the funds to a national scholarship administrator who would manage the student applications, monitoring, and evaluation of providers.
Obama on Education
A World class education
At a Glance
Speak your mind and help set the policies that will guide this campaign and change the country.
No Child Left Behind Left the Money Behind: The goal of the law was the right one, but unfulfilled funding promises, inadequate implementation by the Education Department and shortcomings in the design of the law itself have limited its effectiveness and undercut its support. As a result, the law has failed to provide high-quality teachers in every classroom and failed to adequately support and pay those teachers.
Teacher Retention is a Problem: Thirty percent of new teachers leave within their first five years in the profession.
Soaring College Costs: College costs have grown nearly 40 percent in the past five years. The average graduate leaves college with over $19,000 in debt. And between 2001 and 2010, 2 million academically qualified students will not go to college because they cannot afford it. Finally, our complicated maze of tax credits and applications leaves too many students unaware of financial aid available to them.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan
Early Childhood Education
Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers
Barack Obama's Record
Record of Advocacy: Obama has been a leader on educational issues throughout his career. In the Illinois State Senate, Obama was a leader on early childhood education, helping create the state's Early Learning Council. In the U.S. Senate, Obama has been a leader in working to make college more affordable. His very first bill sought to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,100. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Obama helped pass legislation to achieve that goal in the recent improvements to the Higher Education Act. Obama has also introduced legislation to create Teacher Residency Programs and to increase federal support for summer learning opportunities.
For More Information about Barack's Plan