Convention Speakers Warn of Ed. Cuts, Vow Support of Public Schools
Speakers at the Democratic National Convention emphasized the importance of a strong public education system, valuing teachers, and ensuring that college is affordable.
The GOP platform presented last week put a lot of emphasis on school choice. This week it was the Democrats’ turn. The Democratic platform, released on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., focused on increasing access to higher education, raising standards, and rewarding good teachers. Read it here:
EdWeek Staff Writer Andrew Ujifusa notes in this post on the Politics K-12 blog that the Obama administration seemed to “take a certain kind of credit for the common core,” as the platform boasted of the initiative in its discussion of standards. Read more about it here:
EdWeek Staff Writer Alyson Klein compared and contrasted the two parties’ stances on education issues in an NPR interview, saying that the hottest topics have been school choice and funding. When asked if there is anything that the two parties could agree on, Alyson said that they both support charter schools and teacher evaluations in some form. Listen to the interview here:
Education funding was also a hot topic at the convention, with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker all pushing for greater investment in education. Gov. Deval Patrick spoke about the changes that Massachusetts was able to make in response to Obama’s education initiatives, and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue also touted the effectiveness of Obama’s education strategies. Read more about what their comments here:
Gov. Patrick’s speech got some praise on Twitter:
President Obama also underscored education issues in his acceptance speech. The president warned that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, if elected, would cut education spending in favor of low taxes for the wealthy. He also presented some of his policy ideas for K-12 and higher education, summarized here:
Despite some differences with the president’s views on merit pay and teacher evaluation, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers both endorse him for a second term. Read more about the unions’ views of Obama here:
AFT President Randi Weingarten was live-tweeting the speech:
Earlier in the evening, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke of Obama’s respect for teachers, saying that the president “believes teachers must be respected and paid like the professionals they are.” Alyson Klein noted that Duncan shied away from certain controversial topics, but Duncan said he simply did not have enough time to hit on every issue. Read about Duncan’s speech here:
Even the controversial education activist Michelle Rhee praised Obama’s education policies. In the past, Rhee had been skeptical about whether Obama would pursue policies such as charter school expansion and performance-based teacher policies, but in an interview with EdWeek reporter Sean Cavanagh, she admitted she was wrong about that. Read more about this interview here:
For more coverage on all of the latest education-related election content, check out edweek.org:
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