Have you noticed that presidential debates are a bunch of loosely related thoughts haphazardly pulled together? Kind of like this carnival. To pregame tonight’s debate, I let our fine candidates speak. I’ve done my best to give all of them, irrespective of party affiliation, a hard time - though may not have been entirely successful in achieving parity, and for that you will have to forgive me. Snippets of the candidates’ real policy plans are drawn from McCain and Obama’s excerpted speeches in this month’s Phi Delta Kappan. Will McCain “whip Obama’s you-know-what?” Only time will tell. Enjoy.
Katie Couric: It may be the last debate tonight, but make no mistake – this election is a win-win situation, at least for me (Successful Teaching). Given the history of race in this country, what role will it continue to play in this election? (Greg Laden) Let’s see who did their homework (Aspire Blog).
McCain: As I’ve always said about the economy, my friends, Bubbles are Fun! Mister Teacher thinks so, too.
Obama: But our $30,000 teachers are not driving Rolls Royces, John (Teacher in a Strange Land). No wonder so many people leave the profession (Scheiss Weekly). Also, their students say delightfully titillating things like this (Lightly Seasoned Teacher).
McCain: Teaching, my friends, is among the most honorable professions any American can join….Theirs is an underpaid profession. (He really said that!) And a stressful one – this list of stress reducing tips, my friends, can help (Ed Week Career Corner).
McCain: My friends, since I’m so busy talking about earmarks, I never talk about education.
Obama: Come to think of it, I am so busy talking about change that I don’t either.
McCain: Here’s some educational inspiration for us, my friends:
* Leader Talk, This I Believe
* Dangerously Irrelevant, Statewide 21st Century Learning System
* Law Vibe, Law Student Leaves Gang Life for School Life
* The Reading Zone, Helping Struggling Readers Find the Perfect Book
* The Tempered Radical, Motivating Middle School Students
* Inside Pre-K, Mayala’s Note
And I just read about a newfangled machine that looks a lot like a television that teachers use in classrooms (Needleworks Pictures). So I propose to direct $500 million in current federal funds to build new virtual schools. I’ve heard online learning is kind of like teleworking (Ed Week Digital Education). And with my tax credit, my friends, we’ll get government out of your business so parents can just buy their own kids’ schoolbooks (One Family’s Blog).
Obama: The most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge. But do our kids have it anymore? (What It’s Like on the Inside) Or do we just treat students as numbers (Miss Profe), test scores (Ed Week Living in Dialogue), and grades (Ed Policy Thoughts)?
We need to make sure that every single student can afford to go to college. As President, I will offer a $4000 tax credit that will cover two-thirds of the tuition at an average public college and make community college completely free. But if you still end up with loans from hosting unruly keggers, ask this guy how to deal with your debt (Money Answer Guy).
McCain: Though the Colossus of Rhodey doesn’t agree with me, my friends, we will pay bonuses to teachers who take on the challenge of working in our most troubled schools – because we need their fine minds and good hearts to help turn those schools around. No longer will we measure teacher achievement by conformity to process. We will measure it by the success of their students, no matter what Travis at Stories from School says.
Obama: Let’s talk about the Secretary of Education. I’ve found this amazing teacher blogger, Nancy Flanagan, and she’s my pick. Her slogan? “For the teachers, by the teachers.”
And a Special Appearance by Sarah Palin and Joe Biden
Biden: Did I mention that I got my teeth whitened like Paris Hilton’s for free? Don’t try this at home, kids, even if you have an inventor’s box (Diary of 1). Speaking of free, all Carol at Bellringers got was a free book by Peg Tyre. Just like she wrote about the boy crisis, when I was in elementary school, I could never sit still (Angela Maiers). And my lips never stopped flapping.
Palin: Well, in my hometown high school, Joe, they taught us how to put hydraulics on a moose (Nucleus Learning). But the math team was for nerds (Joanne Jacobs). As my math teacher said, “Arithmetic is neither fish nor beast; therefore it must be foul” (Let’s Play Math) and we must be creating jobs and playing sports. But some girls still get left out of the lockerroom (Ed Week’s Learning the Language).
Biden: We’ve got pithy sayings at my small diner in Wilmington, too. Like you’ve got to Fake It ‘Til You Make It. Fake reading, that is. (Ed Week’s The Book Whisperer).
Palin: Joe, you betcha you should check out this website on how to speak English like we do in Wasilla (English Trainer). Didya know we leave no child inside school? (Circle Time) Our motto is, “Play, baby, play” (Life Without School).
Man, it’s obvious that I’m not from Washington. In Wasilla, we say it’s downright elitist to say that school is for everyone (Stories from School). Charles Murray has been talking about that, too (Stuart Buck). Though some of the media elite disagree, those East Coast hotbeds of rabid liberalism ought to spend some of their endowments (Great College Advice). Speaking of Left on the Right Coast, Right on the Left Coast had a goshdarn stink to high heaven hogwash of a faculty meeting this week.
Biden: Did I mention Scranton yet? It’s rough and tumble, and teachers’ staplers get stolen all the time (A Voice Cries Out).
Palin: Joe, did you hear that NYC Educator got schooled, just like I have for the last six weeks! I’ve been so busy reading up that I didn’t have time to review these tips before my parent-teacher conferences (Kidney Garden). But I’ve taken Larry Ferlazzo’s advice, and it’s time I learn not to let others control me. And Old Andrew taught me a thing or two about ethics and education in an Alaska minute.
Katie Couric: Americans can sleep easy tonight knowing that the presidential candidates have spent so much time boning up on the edu-blogosphere. Who needs economic and foreign policy when we’ve got bloggers and Google Reader?
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