Federal Federal File

Education Odds and Ends Before the Voting Starts

By Michele McNeil — December 18, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The final presidential debates before actual voting begins with next month’s Iowa caucuses offered little new in the way of education ideas, but candidates from both parties seemed to sharpen their focus on what might fix the ills of American public education.

For Republicans, it’s private school choice.

“The answer to the problem in education in America is simple: We need more choice and more competition,” Sen. John McCain of Arizona said during a Republican debate on Dec. 12 in Johnston, Iowa, echoing the sentiments of his GOP colleagues.

For the Democrats, it’s early education.

See Also

For more stories on this topic see our Federal news page.

“The starting place is to get to children young and get them on the right track, which is why we ought to have universal pre-K for 4-year-olds in America,” former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said during a Dec. 13 debate in Johnston. Both were sponsored by The Des Moines Register.

Another Democrat, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, briefly brought up an issue that hasn’t been talked about much during the numerous debates this year: the costs of special education. She said that fully funding the federal portion of special education would be a priority of hers if she is elected.

Otherwise, the talk about education proved redundant in all three recent debates. But that didn’t mean there weren’t some bold claims made.

In the Dec. 9 Republican debate in Miami sponsored by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said that if the nation embraced school choice, he could turn schools around in a mere three years.

He said, “We can revolutionize public education in this country by allowing for choice.”

The following day, in the Democratic debate, Sen. Barack Obama said he had a cure for the achievement gap that’s plagued many schools: “Early childhood education,” he said. “That will close the achievement gap that we see, particularly for minority children, because oftentimes they are already behind when they start school.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 19, 2007 edition of Education Week


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.
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
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.
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

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 Miguel Cardona Should Help Schools Push Parents to Store Guns Safely, Lawmakers Say
More than 100 members of Congress say a recent shooting at a Michigan high school underscores the need for Education Department action.
3 min read
Three Oakland County Sheriff's deputies survey the grounds outside of the residence of parents of the Oxford High School shooter on Dec. 3, 2021, in Oxford, Mich.
Three Oakland County Sheriff's deputies survey the grounds outside of the Crumbley residence while seeking James and Jennifer Crumbley, parents of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, on Dec. 3, 2021, in Oxford, Mich.
Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP
Federal In Reversal, Feds Seek to Revive DeVos-Era Questions About Sexual Misconduct by Educators
The Education Department's decision follows backlash from former education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other conservatives.
4 min read
Illustration of individual carrying binary data on his back to put back into the organized background of 1s and 0s.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Federal Biden Administration Lays Out Its Top Priorities for Education Grants
The pandemic's impact and a diverse, well-prepared educator workforce are among areas the administration wants to fund at its discretion.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Aug. 5, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a White House briefing.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Opinion How Uncle Sam Writes the Rules for Schools
Former Education Department adviser Michael Brickman explains how negotiated rule making works and why educators should pay close attention.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty