Federal Campaign Notebook

Cheney, Edwards Clash on Education in Cleveland Debate

By Erik W. Robelen — October 12, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Although Iraq dominated the vice presidential debate last week, the candidates managed to get in a few jabs on education and, of course, the No Child Left Behind Act.

When asked about what he would do to help the large jobless population in Cleveland, where the Oct. 5 debate was held, Vice President Dick Cheney ended up talking mostly about education.

“I think the most important thing we can do is have a first-class public school system,” he said. “I’m a product of public schools. And the president, his first legislative priority was the No Child Left Behind Act.”

When it came time for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina to respond, the Democratic vice presidential nominee suggested that perhaps Mr. Cheney had gotten a little sidetracked.

“Gwen, your question was about jobs?” he asked the moderator, Gwen Ifill of “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” She replied that it was about jobs and poverty.

“I thought it was about jobs and poverty,” Mr. Edwards said. “I hope we get a chance to talk about education, but that’s what the vice president talked about.”

Later, Mr. Cheney touted increased spending under President Bush.

“Forty-nine percent increase in funding for elementary and secondary education under No Child Left Behind; that’s a lot of money even by Massachusetts standards,” he said, referring to the home state of the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry.

“Yes, but they didn’t fund the mandates that they put on the schools all over this country,” Mr. Edwards replied.

He added: “John and I have—and I don’t have the time now—but we have a clear plan to improve our public schools that starts with getting our best teachers into the schools where we need them the most by creating incentives for them to go there.”

The vice president replied with a swift right: “No Child Left Behind. They were for it, now they’re against it. They voted for it. Now they’re opposed to it.”

Then it was back again to Sen. Edwards: “We are for accountability, and we are for high standards. John and I voted for No Child Left Behind because we thought that accountability and standards were the right thing to do.”

Mr. Edwards seemed to be warming up for a zinger, but then, oops, it turns out the moderator had accidentally given him time that wasn’t his.

“Well, in fairness, if you feel like you need to go to him, we’ll—I’ll stop,” the senator told Ms. Ifill. And there ended the debate on education.

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
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
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
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

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

Federal Project 2025 and the GOP Platform: What Each Says About K-12 in a 2nd Trump Term
A side-by-side look at what the two policy documents say on key education topics.
1 min read
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Trump National Doral Miami, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Trump National Doral Miami, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla.
Rebecca Blackwell/AP
Federal Q&A Ed Research Isn't Always Relevant. This Official Is Trying to Change That
Matthew Soldner, the acting director of the Institute of Education Sciences, calls for new approaches to keep up with classroom tools.
5 min read
USmap ai states 535889663 02
Laura Baker/Education Week with iStock/Getty
Federal Which States Have Sued to Stop Biden's Title IX Rule?
A summary of all the lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's Title IX rule that expands protections for LGBTQ+ students.
3 min read
Misy Sifre, 17, and others protest for transgender rights at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, March 25, 2022. On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Utah and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
Misy Sifre, 17, and others protest for transgender rights at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, March 25, 2022. On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Utah and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation. The case is one of eight legal challenges to those expanded legal protections contained in new Title IX regulations issued by the Biden administration.
Spenser Heaps/The Deseret News via AP
Federal The Topic That Didn't Get a Single Mention in Biden-Trump Debate
K-12 schools—after animating state and local elections in recent years—got no airtime.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, right, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, left, during a presidential debate hosted by CNN, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta.
President Joe Biden, right, and former President Donald Trump, left, face off on stage during a presidential debate hosted by CNN, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta. Not a single question was asked about K-12 education and neither candidate raised the issue.
Gerald Herbert/AP