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On Education, Biden Sounds Like Obama

August 27, 2008 1 min read

When Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. ran for president, he didn’t have much to say about education. Other than answering a few debate questions about issues such as merit pay and the No Child Left Behind Act, the Delaware Democrat was quiet on his views about how to improve the nation’s schools.

Now that Biden is the vice presidential candidate, he appears to have adopted the education platform of Sen. Barack Obama.

“Barack Obama knows that any country that out-teaches us today will out-compete us tomorrow,” Biden said in accepting the vice presidential nomination tonight. “He’ll invest us in the next generation of teachers. He’ll make college more affordable. That’s the change we need.”

Biden didn’t mention pre-K, expanding charter schools, or fixing NCLB. But it’s safe to assume he’ll adopt Obama’s position on those issues, too.

In his 36-year career in the Senate, Biden hasn’t played a significant role on educational issues. But he has been an advocate for working-class people, according to one teachers’ union member from Delaware who is a delegate to the convention.

“Senator Biden has always been for the working person,” said Crystal Barnett, who is a member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and works for the union’s headquarters. “He is pro-union.”

--David J. Hoff

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