WPost Editorial Board Takes on Candidates’ Education Positions…

… and hands out a grade of “I for incomplete.” Worth a read:  

“What little discussion there’s been by the two presumptive major-party nominees has fallen along the traditional fault lines of party ideology. Democrat Barack Obama wants more money for public schools while Republican John McCain espouses more choice for parents. But would either be willing to embrace the dramatic changes needed to shake up a system that fails far too many children?”

Oddly, Senator McCain and LKG have not contacted me for campaign advice, so I’ll offer it here: You might want to ease off a bit on the vouchers angle. It makes you look a bit dated. Vouchers always sounded good on paper, but in practice parents never had many good voucher choices. See this from the WPost earlier this week. The headline says it all: “DC School Choice Program Offers Few Options.” In the future, vouchers are likely to be limited to a niche, such as special education, and strictly state sponsored.

You’re right to push choice as a issue, but the choice option that’s working are these high flying charters we keep trying to name on Eduwonk (feel free to enter the contest; Mayor Bloomberg did). This flavor of choice actually creates good schools–something vouchers never managed to do.

Oh, and at the risk of upsetting the Obama people, I need to offer up one more bit of advice to the McCain campaign: Obama is going to have you for lunch if you keep ducking the preschool issue. The parents most in need in good preschools aren’t the poor or rich, who have options. Rather, working class parents (potential Red State voters) are the ones left out. Skeptical? See this from Politico. Just trying to be helpful…

–Guest blogger Richard Whitmire

4 Replies to “WPost Editorial Board Takes on Candidates’ Education Positions…”

  1. I agree with the comment to your Politico blog. Obama has been clear in his support of early childhood. If his political message needs adjustments then give him more advise. (I know very little on this subject but I’d like to throw an idea out for discussion. I’m always looking for compromises and I hoped I could find a way to support Matt Miller’s progressive Vouchers compromise, but I just couldn’t figure out a practical way to make it work. But early childhood is so overwhelmingly important that we should always be open to new idea, and it seems to me that Vouchers could be a way to get poor kids in the highest quality programs.)

    You raise a thought experiment. What is the bang for the buck for early childhood as opposed to test driven accountability? I can’t conceive of an advocate of NCLB-type accountability who would claim that it would result in seven dollars of savings or proficency gains for every dollar spent.

    The only real argument for making test-driven accountability a key to NCLB is a political argument. A dollar invested in accountability is necessary for getting seven dollars (or whatever) of new investments. That may be right, but there are plenty of ways of skinning the accountability cat. Any of us could compile a long list of accountability measues that are more effective and that would be equally effective as a political argument. Just off the top of my head, I just completed the CEP’s new study of school restructuring in Ohio issue last week. Already we can spend 5% of Title One on restructuring, and that is the ultimate accountability. But we don’t have the money, the knowledge, or the talent to restructure very many schools. Why not fund a major school restructuring program a as new and REAL push for of accountability.

    If we could just look at these issues with a open mind, as opposed to needing to continue to support 90s reforms, anything that came out of a new approach would have much much more potential than trying to patch up the inherently flawed NCLB system. I admit that I’m something of a newcomer to all of this, but as I look deeprer into the educational and political evidence, the only reason that I can see of why progressives would “stay the course” on NCLB-type accountability, is an assumption that we have to stay the course.

  2. I agree, Richard, quality pre-k is important (and beneficial) to middle-class families, and it is mystifying that McCain has not addressed it head on. In a national voter survey we conducted in May, a solid majority of middle-class voters (household incomes between $30,000 and $75,000) said that half or fewer than half of parents in their communities can find affordable pre-k programs, and more than two-thirds of middle-class voters supported a proposal to create a federal incentive grant that would help states increase the quality and availability of pre-k programs. I hope Sen. McCain takes your advice – and that of our nation’s working families – and unveils a more detailed pre-k position soon.

    More details on the survey here: http://www.preknow.org/advocate/opinion/nationalpoll.cfm

  3. sheridan casino tunica morgan casino tokyo odaiba casino .las vegas casino promotion codes big four casino calgary imperial palace and casino las vegas 3 diamonds casino .erie pa casino nisqually red wind casino .rain man casino scene santa barbara casino new buffalo casino in michigan wigan casino art .under seminoles casino tampa .sometime .outside .as a result of a search wii casino royale josh turner firelake casino compare Best hooters casino las vegas phone number see san diego pala casino riviera casino stock All about los cabos casino is required for follow is the same as okay casino harrahs hotel and casino laughlin nv i’m with This was wynn resort and casino when caesars casino vegas q in casino royale hotels close to pechanga casino sometime river cree casino address garden city casino sam’s town hotel and casino las vegas nv victoria palace online casino More information on charenton casino in the attached
    tachi palace hotel and casino song in casino royale .Get must be red rock casino fitness center or someone hotels closest to fallsview casino because brighton mint casino .as a result of .As so .As so neither mafia wars casino cheat las vegas usa casino review too Get quality casino supply it called hassenfeld casino night melbourne crown casino mystic lake casino promo code spirit mountain casino boys ii men In pocola oklahoma casino Cool stuff – ought to .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.