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Service Learning on 9/11

By Alyson Klein — September 11, 2008 1 min read
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Just because Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama promised not to do any politicking on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks doesn’t mean they weren’t drawing attention to their campaign proposals.

Both candidates today touted (in emails to reporters at least) their plans to bolster community service. McCain’s plan calls for using AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps volunteers to serve as tutors and mentors to “address the high school dropout crisis” and for improving civics education through volunteers who are able to teach or tutor “with a teaching certification equivalent.”

And his plan, which obviously borrows from his education proposal’s emphasis on alternative certification, also calls for “creat[ing] a realistic teaching certification requirement for outstanding individuals with years of service and work” so that they can teach or tutor “without jumping through unreasonable bureaucratic hoops.” Read more about his plan and record here.

Obama’s plan calls for significantly expanding the AmericCorps program (to 250,000 slots from 75,000) and creating a “Classroom Corps” that would enable engineers and scientists to help teachers develop curricula and tutor students. It would also give local business and faith leaders, parents, and others a forum to serve as mentors and tutors, or help out in classrooms. And Obama calls for national guidelines for service-learning and community service programs.

Obama would also like to expand Youth Build, a program that helps disadvantaged teens gain job skills, to 50,000 slots over the next eight years from 8,000 slots. Check out the rest of his plan here.