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Topics in the News: NCLB


Jeb Bush on Education : Oct 20, 2013
No Child Left Behind got states to start reforms

Q: "No Child Left Behind" was one of the great bipartisan achievements that your brother had. What's its legacy?

BUSH: I think "No Child Left Behind" pushed states that refused to begin the process of reform into the arena. So now every state is on the journey. Some really slow and some far more advanced. But ultimately this is a state-driven kind of enterprise. But the jump start for a lot of states that refused to use accountability and testing and a focus on early literacy and all the things that began with "No Child Left Behind" wouldn't have happened. So I think it served a useful purpose.

Q: How bad is the current system?

BUSH: If you measure it by outcomes, 25% of kids pass all of the four segments of the ACT test which means that they're college-ready or career-ready. And about 20% don't graduate at all. That's failure.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Education : Jun 8, 2013
OpEd: Common Core recycled from Clintons in 1980s and 1990s

Common Core recycles a decades-old, top-down approach to education clearly laid out in a letter sent to Hillary Clinton by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, immediately after Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential victory. Marc Tucker has and is now advising the Obama Administration's US Department of Education about how to implement the Common Core Standards and Race to the Top programs.

Marc Tucker and Hillary Clinton apparently had plans to have national standards, national tests, national curriculum, and a national database way back in the 1980's. The "Dear Hillary" letter, written on Nov. 11, 1992 by Marc Tucker, lays out a plan "to remold the entire American system." This is now the blueprint for the Common Core plan.

Tucker's ambitious plan was implemented in 1994 in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, and the School-to-Work Act. These laws establish [using] "national standards" and "national testing" to cement national control.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: William Taylor Reil in Times-News (Allentown PA)

Jerry Brown on Education : Jan 24, 2013
Consider subsidiarity: central authority only if local fails

California's public schools are subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations: [from the] school superintendent [to the] State Board of Education, then Congress which passes laws like "No Child Left Behind," and finally the Federal Department of Education.

This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.

Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work--lighting fires in young minds.

Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: 2013 State of the State address to California Legislature

Jeb Bush on Education : Nov 27, 2012
Restore schools via standards for teachers instead of tenure

Jeb Bush today called for a "restoration" of lost American values and economic mobility based on educational accountability. With the gap between the impoverished and privileged widening, the solution lies in a regime of school and teacher evaluation, national standards and more "school choice," he said.

Bush won election in 1998 with a campaign for overhauling education, rewarding high-performing schools with added state funding. It was enacted into law, and is similar to a "No Child Left Behind" law that Pres. Bush pursued in Washington, requiring school testing and holding schools accountable for showing yearly progress.

Only a national commitment to educational progress can reverse a trend in which 1/3 of students drop out of high school, Bush said; "I would suggest to you that high standards is the first step," he said, calling for a national system of common student measurements and teacher evaluations based on professional skills, not union membership or tenure.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Mark Silva on Bloomberg News, "Bush calls for restoration"

Barack Obama on Education : Oct 3, 2012
2 million more slots in our community colleges

We've got to improve our education system and we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from Democrats and Republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools. We've got a program called Race to the Top that has prompted reforms in 46 states around the country, raising standards, improving how we train teachers.

So now I want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers, and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now. And I want to make sure that we keep tuition low for our young people.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Mitt Romney on Education : Oct 3, 2012
Let IDEA and Title I funds follow disabled child

Q: Does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?

ROMNEY: Well, the primary responsibility for education is, of course, at the state and local level. But the federal government also can play a very important role. I agree with [the principles of] Race to the Top, not all of them, but some of them I agree with. My own view is, I've added to that. I want the kids that are getting federal dollars from IDEA or Title I--these are disabled kids or lower-income kids--I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. So all federal funds, instead of going to the state or to the school district, I'd have go, if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their student.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate

Paul Ryan on Education : Aug 11, 2012
No Child Left Behind spends more money, but without results

It is imperative that we allocate our resources in the most efficient manner possible and do not simply hope that spending more money on education without innovative solutions and greater accountability will improve our educational system.

Enacted in 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) highlights greater parental involvement in education, targets more federal education resources to schools that need the most assistance, and increases accountability for our nation's schools. As a result of NCLB, the federal government is now spending far more money for elementary and secondary education than at any other time in American history. For these unprecedented levels of spending, I do not believe we are achieving the results that have been sought.

In an effort to reform NCLB and federal education policy, I have been a vocal supporter of the bipartisan A-PLUS Act. This initiative seeks to empower those in the best position to make curriculum decisions: parents, teachers, the school districts, and states.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues"

Paul Ryan on Education : Aug 11, 2012
A-PLUS: Local decisions, not one-size-fits-all mandates

Many educators and parents have expressed frustration with the numerous federal requirements that have come with NCLB funding. The A-PLUS Act allows local school districts to implement their own, individual education plans. While still allowing for federal support, it would provide States freedom from the onerous one-size-fits-all mandates. The most critical decisions would be made by educators who are closest to the students, rather than bureaucrats in Washington.
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues"

Ted Cruz on Education : Jun 6, 2012
Education decisions best made at local level

The Senate Conservatives Fund has developed a questionnaire that we require candidates to complete before we consider an endorsement. A candidate's answers to these questions will reveal whether they consistently apply conservative principles to their positions on important issues.
Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: 2012 endorsee questionnaire from Senate Conservatives Fund

Barack Obama on Budget & Economy : Jan 8, 2012
Obama economic stances compared to Romney

Do Obama and Romney disagree on school vouchers? (Yes). Do they both like "No Child Left Behind"? (No). We cite details from Romney's books and speeches, and Obama's, so you can compare them, side-by-side, on issues like these:

Romney vs. Obama on Economic Issues

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Romney vs. Obama On The Issues

Mitt Romney on Education : Sep 22, 2011
We should insist that teachers get evaluated

PERRY: There is one person on this stage that is for Obama's Race to the Top and that is Governor Romney. He said so just this last week. And I think that is an important difference between the rest of the people on this stage and one person that wants to run for the presidency. Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top and that is not conservative.

ROMNEY: I'm not sure exactly what he's saying. I don't support any particular program that he's describing. I think the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is doing a good thing by saying, "You know what? We should insist that teachers get evaluated and that schools have the opportunity to see which teachers exceeding and which ones are failing and that teachers that are not successful are removed from the classroom." Those ideas by Secretary Duncan, that is a lot better than what the president did which is cutting off school choice in the Washington, D.C. schools. So let's give us a full chance to talk about it.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL

Newt Gingrich on Education : Sep 7, 2011
I liked charter school programs in Obama's Race to the Top

Q: You supported "Race to the Top," the Obama administration education program. What did you like about it?

GINGRICH: I liked very much the fact that it talked about charter schools. It's the one place I found to agree with President Obama. If every parent in America had a choice of the school their child went to, if that school had to report its scores, if there was a real opportunity, you'd have a dramatic improvement. My personal preference would be to have a Pell Grant for K-12 so that every parent could pick, with their child, any school they wanted to send them to, public or private, and enable them to have the choice. I don't think you're ever going to reform the current bureaucracies. And the president, I thought, was showing some courage in taking on the teacher's union to some extent and offering charter schools, and I wanted, frankly, to encourage more development towards choice.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP debate in Simi Valley CA at the Reagan Library

Jon Huntsman on Education : Aug 11, 2011
No Child Left Behind has failed; we need vouchers

Q: [to Huntsman]: This week, the Obama administration announced that they would grant waivers to some failing public school systems that couldn't meet the standard of the No Child Left Behind program. If you were president, would you return to full enforcement of this Bush-era law?

HUNTSMAN: No Child Left Behind hasn't worked for this country. It ought to be done away with. We need to take education to the local level, where parents and local elected officials can determine the destiny of these schools. Nobody wants their schools to succeed more than local elected officials and their parents. We need choice. We need vouchers. We need more technology in the classroom.

Q: [to Cain]: Would you return to the full enforcement of NCLB?

CAIN: No. I believe in education starting at the local. No Child Left Behind had some faults. I don't believe in unfunded mandates. I believe that the federal government should be out of the business of trying to micromanage the education of our children.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Joe Biden on Education : May 25, 2011
$500M for Race to the Top's Early Learning Challenges

The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful workforce development. Secretary Duncan and Secretary Sebelius also challenged the broader innovation community--leading researchers, high-tech entrepreneurs, foundations, non-profits and others--to engage with the early learning community and to close the school readiness gap. States applying for challenge grants will be encouraged to increase access to quality early learning programs for low income and disadvantaged children, design integrated and transparent systems that align their early care and education programs, bolster training and support for the early learning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document and share effective practices and successful programs, and help parents make informed decisions about care for their children.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Press release: $500 Million for Race to the Top

Barack Obama on Education : Feb 17, 2011
Increase school choice & accountability within NCLB

President Barack Obama has been attempting to have the NCLB law rewritten by making accountability even tougher and making school choice more available to parents of children in failing schools. In fact, Obama and Governor Christie appear to be on the same page when it comes to education reforms such as merit pay although Obama has not gone to the same extreme as Christie in his plan to repeal state tenure laws for teachers.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Teachers Under Attack!, by Mike Spina, p. 91

Barack Obama on Education : Jan 26, 2011
FactCheck: Race to the Top has only rewarded 12 states

Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion competitive grant program for states that seeks to encourage public schools to develop new ways to raise standards and measure achievement for both teachers and students in elementary and secondary schools. Not all states received funding. They had to compete for the money, and, in the end, 11 states and the District of Columbia were the winners in two rounds of competition. The Department of Education has requested an additional $1.35 billion to continue the program, but Congress must approve it.

Although the majority of states did not receive funding, the Obama administration takes the position that the competition for the funding alone resulted in sweeping education changes in most states. In August, the Dept. of Education said in competing, "35 states and the District of Columbia have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, and 34 states have changed laws or policies to improve education."

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: FactCheck.org on 2011 State of the Union speech

Barack Obama on Education : Jan 26, 2011
Race to the Top: reward innovation in public schools

When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don't meet this test. That's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all 50 states, we said, "If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we'll show you the money."

Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than 1% of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. And these standards were developed, by the way, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that's more flexible and focused on what's best for our kids.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2011 State of the Union speech

Andrew Cuomo on Education : Jan 5, 2011
Replace formula-based grants with performance incentives

Current education funding is largely formula-based grants with no performance incentives. The federal government's performance-based Race to the Top program has resulted in reform.

Therefore, I am proposing two competitive funds. First, a $250 million school performance fund for districts that proportionally increase performance in the classroom. The second will be a $250 million administrative efficiency fund for districts that can find demonstrative savings through efficiencies.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: 2011 State of the State speech to New York legislature

Andrew Cuomo on Education : Jan 5, 2011
Follows federal lead in education by emphasizing performance

The federal government's move to performance-based grants, including the Race to the Top program, has resulted in reform. I propose two competitive funds to incentivize improvements. First, I propose a school performance fund for districts that proportionally increase performance in the classroom. The second will be an administrative efficiency fund for districts that can find savings through efficiencies. These grants will complement the objectives of the Race to the Top program.
Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: New York 2011 gubernatorial press release "Assets SOS2011"

Rick Perry on Education : Nov 15, 2010
OpEd: School choice laudable at local level but not federal

Federal intrusion got markedly worse in 2001, with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The bill represented the bipartisan doubling down of federal involvement in the education of our children.

Do you think there would have been significant Republican opposition? Nope. In the House, Republicans voted 185-34 in favor of NCLB, while in the Senate the vote among Republicans was 43-6. Unfortunately, this willingness to turn power over to Washington was driven in significant part by the desire to further expand federal faith-based initiatives and to provide for the increased possibility of school choice. This is a perfect example of Republicans losing sight of the fact that perfectly laudable policy choices at the local level are nor appropriate (much less constitutional) at the federal level. This is not consistent with a belief in a limited federal government of enumerated powers. Worse, the Department of Education is now unfettered in its ability to interfere in the affairs of local government.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p. 86-87

Rick Perry on Education : Nov 15, 2010
Turned down $700M in federal aid due to strings attached

I was faced with a choice, where you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, in 2010 when it came to additional education funding. Up to $700 million in additional federal stimulus money was this time being offered to states through the Department of Education's $5 billion Race-to-the-Top program. I turned down the money because under the program, we would have been required to adopt national standards and doing so would have further inserted Washington into the Texas classroom. And more than that it would have cost us some $3 billion to change all our materials to comply with the Washington standards.

Ultimately, the decision was easy for two reasons. First, the Texas school system is performing well, with leading standards, and innovative charter schools. Second, the money we turned down was about $75 per student. It is frustrating when we are put in this position, but at some point we have to start telling Washington that we've had enough of the strings they attach.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.166

Rick Perry on Education : Jan 13, 2010
No "Race to the Top" funding; too many strings attached

Perry today announced that Texas will not submit an application for federal Race to the Top education funds. Despite tremendous education successes, Texas' application would be penalized by the US Department of Education for refusing to commit to adopt national curriculum standards and tests.

"Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children's future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents' participation in their children's education," Gov. Perry said. "If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached."

Through Race to the Top funding, the US Department of Education seems to be coercing states like Texas to abandon their own locally established curriculum standards in favor of adopting national standards.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2010 Texas Gubernatorial press release

Jeb Bush on Education : Dec 11, 2009
60% of FCAT-passed schools failed to meet NCLB standards

Bush's educational reform program focused on changing the way in which Florida's regular public schools delivered their product and reported on their performance. The policy contained two components:
  1. grading public school reading, writing and mathematics performance on an A-F scale; and
  2. annual reporting of these grades to the public.
Bush mounted an aggressive effort to defend his A+ Plan, citing the quality of the FCAT and improved student performance on the test as evidence that the plan worked. The governor's position was that the narrow focus on reading, writing, and mathematics that he advocated ensured that all students had similar experiences that prepared them for the future.

One national education organization claimed that the FCAT reflects "modest expectation." In 2006, 60% of the schools that scored either A or B on the state FCAT test failed to meet the standards for the federal No Child Left Behind Law.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.139

Joe Biden on Education : Oct 2, 2008
No Child Left Behind was left behind

BIDEN: I hope we’ll get back to education because I don’t know any government program that John is supporting, not early education, more money for it. The reason No Child Left Behind was left behind is the money was left behind, we didn’t fund it.

PALIN: You mentioned education and I’m glad you did. I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. We have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It’s not doing the job though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. My kids as public school participants right now, it’s near and dear to my heart.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin on Education : Oct 2, 2008
We need more flexibility in No Child Left Behind

PALIN: You mentioned education and I’m glad you did. I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. We have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It’s not doing the job though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. My kids as public school participants right now, it’s near and dear to my heart.

BIDEN: I hope we’ll get back to education because I don’t know any government program that John is supporting, not early education, more money for it. The reason No Child Left Behind was left behind is the money was left behind, we didn’t fund it.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden

Sarah Palin on Education : Aug 20, 2008
294 Alaska public schools progressed under NCLB

Congratulations to the staff at the 294 Alaska public schools that made adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards for the 2007-2008 school year. Our schools faced a higher bar in 2007-2008 for the percentages of students who score proficient in language arts and math assessments. Congratulations to the many schools that continue to improve in student achievement but may have fallen short in 1 or 2 of the 31 categories schools are held accountable for in NCLB.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: August 2008 Newsletter

Barack Obama on Education : Jul 1, 2008
Make math & science policy a national priority

Obama also has detailed plans to improve our nation's primary and secondary schools:
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Obamanomics, by John R. Talbott, p. 61-62

Barack Obama on Education : Jun 15, 2008
We need real commitment to education; instead we got NCLB

These past eight years will be remembered for misguided policies & missed opportunities. We still have no real strategy to compete in a global economy. Just think of what we could have done. We could have made a real commitment to a world-class education for our kids, but instead we passed “No Child Left Behind,” a law that--however well-intended--left the money behind and alienated teachers and principals instead of inspiring them.

I want to take us in a new and better direction. It’s time for new policies that create the jobs & opportunities of the future--a competitiveness agenda built upon education and energy, innovation and infrastructure, fair trade and reform.

This agenda starts with education. A highly-educated and skilled workforce will be the key not only to individual opportunity, but to the overall success of our economy as well. We cannot be satisfied until every child in America--and I mean every child--has the same chances for a good education that we want for our own children.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Speech in Flint, MI, in Change We Can Believe In, p.246-7

Hillary Clinton on Education : Apr 16, 2008
End predatory student college loan rates over 20%

I’m a strong supporter of early childhood education and universal pre-kindergarten. I’m against No Child Left Behind as it is currently operating. And I would end it, because we can do so much better to have an education system that really focuses in on [students].
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Rick Perry on Education : Feb 12, 2008
Boy Scouts granted right to use schools in 2002 NCLB law

In 2001, members of Congress went to work to include in the No Child Left Behind Act the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access to Schools Amendment. The amendment passed in both houses and became a part of the No Child Left Behind Act, which in turn was signed by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. It specified that no school receiving U.S. Department of Education funds "shall deny access or a fair opportunity to meet to, or discriminate against, any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America that wishes to conduct a meeting within that designated open forum or limited public forum, including denying such access or opportunity or discriminating for reasons based on membership or leadership criteria or oath of allegiance to God and country to the Boy Scouts of America."
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p. 78-79

Barack Obama on Education : Feb 2, 2008
Children’s First Agenda: zero to five early education

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 20-23

Barack Obama on Education : Dec 13, 2007
Get parents re-engaged in educating the children

Oftentimes minority children are already behind when they start school. Not just talking about how great teachers are but giving them more money and more support. Changing no child left behind so that we’re not just teaching to a test and crowding out programs like art and music that are so critical. You asked earlier about sacrifices that I’ll ask from the American people. One of the things that I want to do is get parents reengaged in instilling a sense of excellence in their children. And I’ve said this all across the country when I talk to parents about education, government has to fulfill its obligations to fund education, but parents have to do their job too. We’ve got to turn off the TV set, we’ve got to put away the video game, and we have to tell our children that session not a passive activity, you have to be actively engaged in it. If we encourage that attitude and our community is enforcing it, I have no doubt we can compete with anybody in the world.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic Debate

Mitt Romney on Education : Dec 12, 2007
Bush was right on No Child Left Behind

Bush was right to fight for No Child Left Behind, because we allow states now to test our kids and see how well they’re doing, particularly in math and English. We’ve made the same effort in our state, actually before No Child Left Behind was passed. We test our kids; we have high standards. We teach them in English, English immersion. We also put in place incentives for kids to do well. For those that take the graduation exam, which you have to take to get out of high school, we say that you’re going to get, if you score in the top 25 percent on the test, a four-year tuition-free scholarship to a Massachusetts institution of higher learning. The federal government insists on those tests and those standards. We have to have higher pay for better teachers. And people who are not good teachers ought to find a different career. We need more parental involvement. School choice, better pay for better teachers, high standards, scholarships for the best kids, English immersion: These principles work.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate

Barack Obama on Education : Sep 13, 2007
We need a sense of urgency about improving education system

Q: How would you assess the American education system, how well is it doing from K to high school?

A: Well, I think it’s doing very well for some. But it’s not doing very well for all. So, No Child Left Behind has been false advertising. And there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency about improving the education system. It is a sense of urgency that we’ve got to restore if we’re going to be able to remain competitive in this new global economy. So, a couple of steps that I think we have to take. Across the board we’re going to have to recruit a generation of new teachers. We’re going to have to pay our teachers more, we going to have to give them more professional development, and we’re also going to have to work with them rather than against them to improve standards. We’ve got to improve early childhood education, because that’s the area where we can probably most effectively achieve the achievement gap that exists right now.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate

Hillary Clinton on Education : Sep 13, 2007
We have not yet reached consensus on education reform

Q: Has the debate so far in this campaign paid enough attention to education?

A: I don’t think it has. In the debates that we’ve had, education is an afterthought. But when I go out and campaign all over the country, it’s really on the minds of people. And I’ve outlined a very vigorous education agenda starting with universal prekindergarten, changing No Child Left Behind, making college affordable, finding programs for training and apprenticeship for kids who don’t go to college.

Q: Why has education not come along as fast as other societal changes?

A: I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors. Everybody is an expert on education because we all went to school. And therefore, local control means that there are millions upon millions of opinions in America about what we should do. I don’t think we have reached a consensus that reflects the reality today. Our public school system worked so well for America for so long. We’ve got to make sure it works as well for our future.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate

Hillary Clinton on Education : Sep 13, 2007
AR Ed Reform taught that there is a place for testing

Q: How do you feel about the testing mania forced upon our children by No Child Left Behind?

A: I believe in accountability. In 1983, I led the effort in Arkansas to improve our schools, and I do think there is a place for testing. But we should not look at our children as though they are little, walking tests, and we’ve gone way overboard. So I would like to see us do assessments, but understand we need a broad, rich curriculum that honors the spark of learning in every child.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate

Barack Obama on Education : Aug 19, 2007
We left the money behind for No Child Left Behind

I’ve had a lot of discussions with teachers. And they feel betrayed and frustrated by No Child Left Behind. We shouldn’t reauthorize it without changing it fundamentally. We left the money behind for No Child Left Behind, and so there are school districts all across the state and all across the country that are having a difficult time implementing No Child Left Behind.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Hillary Clinton on Education : Aug 19, 2007
Incentive pay for school wide performance

Q: What about performance-based pay?

A: Well, I have long supported incentive pay for school wide performance. You know, what we’re trying to do is to change the culture within schools and to provide the resources, the training and the support that teachers need to do the job they do want to do. You have to reform No Child Left Behind. We’re going to try to do that and begin to make it much more in line with the reality of teaching.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Hillary Clinton on Education : Aug 8, 2007
Total change in No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind has been a terrible imposition on teachers & school districts & families & students. Part of it is because it was an unfunded mandate. And part of it is that the Dept. of Education under Pres. Bush did not absolutely enforce it and interpret it in the right way. So we need growth models for students. We need broader curriculum. We need to make sure that when we look at our children, we don’t just see a little walking test. We’ve got to have a total change in No Child Left Behind.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum

Barack Obama on Government Reform : Aug 8, 2007
Campaigns last too long & cost too much

Campaigns last too long and they cost too much money. And they’re disproportionately influenced by Washington insiders, which is why it’s not going to be enough just to change political parties [in the presidency]. But we also have to make sure that we are mobilizing Americans across race & regions, if we’re actually going to bring these changes about. Change doesn’t happen from the top down, it happens from the bottom up. It’s because millions of voices get mobilized and organized.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum

Joe Biden on Education : Jul 23, 2007
Voting for No Child Left Behind was a mistake

Q: Everyone else on this stage who was in Congress in 2001 voted for No Child Left Behind. Would you scrap it or revise it?

It was a mistake. The reason I voted for it, against my better instinct, is I have great faith in Ted Kennedy, who is so devoted to education. But I would scrap it--or I guess, theoretically, you could do a major overhaul. But I think I’d start from the beginning. You need better teachers. You need smaller classrooms. You need to start kids earlier. It’s all basic.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC

Mitt Romney on Education : May 15, 2007
Changed from closing Education Dept. to supporting NCLB

Q: You have been criticized for changing your position on some issues. You say that it’s a part of learning from experience. Can you point to an area in which your learning from experience led you to change to a position that is less popular with the Republican base?

A: Sure, quite a few, actually. One is No Child Left Behind. I’ve taken a position where, once upon a time, I said I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education. That was my position when I ran for Senate in 1994. That’s very popular with the base. As I’ve been a governor and seen the impact that the federal government can have holding down the interest of the teachers’ unions and instead putting the interests of the kids and the parents and the teachers first, I see that the Department of Education can actually make a difference. So I supported No Child Left Behind. I still do. I know there are a lot in my party that don’t like it, but I like testing in our schools. I think it allows us to get better schools

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina

Joe Biden on Education : Feb 21, 2007
NCLB needs more resources, but also is fundamentally flawed

Q: What do you plan to do about No Child Left Behind? Do you believe that this issue is simply one of never having provided the resources to carry out the original mission of the program or are there other fundamental flaws inherent in a program with so much emphasis on teaching to the test?

A: Both. I sleep with a teacher every night -- my wife. She taught high school -- had three remedial classes and two advanced classes. Those kids in the remedial class went from sixth grade to 10th grade, and they were still penalized. Those kids in the advanced class, she didn’t have to do a thing with. They passed the test. There is something fundamentally wrong with it. And we’ve underfunded it by about $70 billion. We know the problem:

  1. Classrooms are too big; we need smaller classrooms, period.
  2. A lot of teachers are going to be retiring. We need a program where we attract the best and brightest students coming out of our colleges to be teachers, and pay them.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada

Jeb Bush on Civil Rights : Feb 15, 2007
One Florida: equal minority contracts and admissions

The One Florida initiative was actually designed to maintain the status quo--to admit just as many black and Hispanic students to Florida universities and award just as many contracts to black and Hispanic businesses as was possible under affirmative action, except to do this without specifically using race. The college admissions, for example, would be done using a "Talented 20" scheme, in which students in the top 5th of any high school class would be guaranteed entrance to a public university, regardless of their actual grade point average or SAT scores. The net result was to be the same. Students in predominantly minority high schools who scored at the top of their class would have a huge leg up over white students in suburban schools.

This was a program that, had Jeb used some savvy in rolling it out, blacks and Hispanics could easily have embraced. Jeb's problem, as was typical, was that he reached out for their support only when it came time to roll out the proposal.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.187-188

Hillary Clinton on Education : Dec 12, 2006
2001: Proposed and passed National Teacher Corps

The standards and accountability movement has grown dramatically over the last decade. The No Child Left Behind Act became law, and it has laid bare the problems in many of our poorest, worst-performing schools. We can no longer say that we didn’t know that these schools were failing some of our most vulnerable kids. To improve the quality of education, we need to improve instruction in the classroom. Nationwide, two million teachers will leave teaching over the next decade. NYC already loses 30% more math teachers and 22% more science teachers than it certifies every year. IN 2001, I proposed the National Teacher Corps, which brings teachers into the classroom, and a new initiative that would provide more schools with strong principals. Both became law.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2006 intro to It Takes A Village, by H. Clinton, p.304-305

Jesse Ventura on Principles & Values : Jul 2, 2000
Political “horse races” ignore the issues

We’ve come to think of our elections the same way we think about sports. We focus on competition and winning. How many of us actually know what the most popular candidates stand for in any given election? Why isn’t anybody asking what these candidates plan to do if they get elected? Doesn’t it matter?

When elections turn into horse races and popularity contests, the candidates who end up rising to the top are not necessarily the ones who have the brightest ideas about how to govern our nation. Sometimes they’re the ones who’ll do anything to win.

Candidates are applying for jobs as public servants, and we, the voters, and the ones doing the hiring. If we’re going to hire the right person for the job, we need to focus on the candidates’ qualifications, their understanding of the issues that matter, and their plans for handling those issues. If any given candidate is too busy trashing his or her opponents to focus on the issues, then they’ve just told us they’re not qualified for the job

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 30-1

  • Additional quotations related to NCLB issues can be found under Education.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Education.
Candidates on Education:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Gay Rights
School Prayer
Vouchers

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Dec 18, 2013