Education

McCain on Vouchers: Accountability for All?

February 19, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I trolled through the Internet and dialed up a bunch of Arizona sources to find out as much as I could about Sen. John McCain’s background on K-12 education. Read what I found at McCain Emphasizes School Choice, Accountability, But Lacks Specifics.

You have to dig through the Republican front-runner’s campaign site to find his ideas on education. Even though the site doesn’t explain exactly what McCain would do as president, it’s clear that McCain believes in choice and accountability. McCain tried for years to get a national pilot program for private school choice. In 2004, Congress created one such project in the District of Columbia. Back in 2001, he spoke in favor of NCLB on the Senate floor, saying he liked its accountability measures and was disappointed that it didn’t include enough choice.

On the campaign trail, he has called NCLB “a good beginning” in a YouTube video I posted last week. In the video below, he says of NCLB: “Improve it; don’t discard it.”

But he doesn’t say how he would hold schools accountable in private school choice programs. Many choice advocates suggest that parents’ decision to enroll a child is the ultimate accountability. But NCLB raises the question of whether that’s enough accountability, as Tom Toch of Education Sector points out.

“The logic of NCLB is that all schools that are using public money should be held accountable,” Toch told me. “He’s going to come to terms with the fact that the central element of school reform right now is to hold schools receiving public money accountable for their performance.”

That quote appears at the bottom of the story. This presidential campaign has been lacking a serious education debate so far. Sen. Barack Obama’s statement on vouchers last week may mean vouchers will be part of the debate as the campaign moves forward. If so, perhaps McCain will have to respond to Toch’s point.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 6, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 30, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
6 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 16, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
7 min read