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Top 10 Political Ed Moments of 2008

By Michele McNeil — December 30, 2008 1 min read

Education may have been lower than saving the giant African bat on the national political stage during the presidential election, but Alyson and I still managed to cobble together a list of the Top 10 education political moments of 2008:

10. Portfolio-gate -- the shortest lived "-gate” in history.

9. John McCain calls running mate Sarah Palin a national expert on autism, even though her son, Trig, has a different developmental disability. (To be fair, some folks suggested he was referring to her nephew, who does have autism.)

8. The AFT’s Randi Weingarten gets “really pissed” at Democrats for Education Reform during the convention.

7. John McCain, in his most substantive speech about education, says he’ll seek school choice for “all who want it.” Translation: His plan called for a continuation of the existing District of Columbia voucher program, or choice for a few extra thousand kids in Washington, D.C.

6. EdWeek appears in an attack ad against Obama, implying that we reported that Obama supports sex ed for kindergartners. For the record, we didn’t report that.

5. Bill Ayers comes out with a crystal clear statement describing his interactions with Obama—after the campaign was over.

4. Barack Obama dares to suggest that he might support vouchers if that’s what’s best for kids. Then he takes it back when it turns out he’s in a contested Democratic primary and some people don’t like to hear that.

3. After longing for a substantive exchange on school issues, education finally comes up as the very last question during the very last debate. Better late than never.

2. Obama appoints his b-ball buddy Arne Duncan to head up the department of education, leaving edubloggers with nothing but the federal budget to write about.

1. $60 million buys you:
a.) Mission accomplished or b.) Mouthing platitudes?

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