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NEA: Palin is ‘Pleasant Surprise’

By Alyson Klein — August 31, 2008 1 min read

The National Education Association sent out a statement this weekend on Sen. John McCain’s decision to tap Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate.

Reg Weaver, the president of the NEA, was relatively complimentary of Palin, especially given that his union has endorsed McCain’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Still, the press release could be called a back-handed compliment. It praised Palin’s commitment to public education, while simultaneously calling attention to her scant time in the governor’s mansion:

While she is only in her second year as Alaska’s governor, she has thus far shown herself to be a supporter of children and public education. She comes from a family of educators. Her father was a teacher, her brother is a teacher, and her mother was an education support professional. In her less than two years as the state’s chief executive officer, she was able to increase per-pupil education spending, and she is opposed to sending public money to support private schools through political schemes like vouchers.Her selection, however, has certainly taken the issue of experience off the table for political debate.”

--Alyson Klein

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