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Understanding the Issues: Education

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View Poll Results: Do You Agree with Obama's Stance on Education?
Yes (Agree with more than 75%) 15 75.00%
No (Agree with less than 25%) 1 5.00%
Not Sure 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-10-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
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Understanding the Issues: Education

This was supposed to continue with the theme of anonymously presenting the candidates and asking you to vote on their policies, without sharing which candidate was tied to each policy. However, we are down to just two candidates now. And on this particular issue, Education, I simply couldn’t gather enough solid information on McCain’s stance to outline his beliefs (other than he’s for vouchers).

So with that in mind, below is Obama’s stance on Education. Do you agree with Obama’s plan?
Granted, you may not agree with everything. So let’s say this. If you agree with more than 75% of what he is saying then vote “Yes”, less than 25% vote no. Anywhere in between, abstain and let’s discuss.


• Teacher Service Scholarships: Cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.

• Teacher Residency Program: In these programs, individuals completing coursework for teacher certification could serve as apprentices in the classrooms of veteran teachers, as long as they pledged at least three years of service in the sponsoring district.

• Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.

• Make science and math education a national priority

• Supports charter schools; does not support vouchers, focus should be on investing in our public schools

• Standardized tests drain creativity from schools

• Provide funds for states to implement a broader range of assessments that can evaluate higher-order skills, including students’ abilities to use technology, conduct research, engage in scientific investigation, solve problems, present and defend their ideas

• $4,000 college tuition for 100 hours public service/year

• Provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school - strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.

• Double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs to serve one million more children.

• Supports summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.

• Supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.

• Streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

I voted yes because anything is better then what it is now.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Hell yes.

If I can get $4,000 for my tuition while only putting forth 100 hours of community service, you damn well better believe I'm on board for that.

That's $4,000 that can stay in my bank account.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:46 PM   #4
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Yeah, I definitely agree with Obama's stance on education. Part of the reason I didn't go to college out of high school was because I didn't want to pay out the ass for, and I didn't like the options of getting money now to pay for it but then I spend the next 30 years of my life paying it back. But I think you would see a lot of kids doing 100 hours of community service if it meant getting 4 grand for college.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

I've got a number of issues, and a number of things I like. Overall, I abstained from the vote.

Quote:
• Teacher Service Scholarships: Cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teacher education, including high-quality alternative programs for mid-career recruits in exchange for teaching for at least four years in a high-need field or location.
Source of funding? That's a big question mark. If you're going to pull the troops home from Iraq, I'd like to see that money go back to the taxpayers, reducing government spending. I don't want to see the Iraq money spent on things like this.

Quote:
• Districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as a mentor to new teachers with a salary increase. Districts can reward teachers who work in underserved places like rural areas and inner cities. And if teachers consistently excel in the classroom, that work can be valued and rewarded as well.
How the hell can you measure which teachers "perform well" in the classroom?

Quote:
• Make science and math education a national priority
I love this idea, we need it. But it's short on details.

Quote:
• Standardized tests drain creativity from schools
Not sure what this means.

Quote:
• Provide funds for states to implement a broader range of assessments that can evaluate higher-order skills, including students’ abilities to use technology, conduct research, engage in scientific investigation, solve problems, present and defend their ideas
I like this idea a lot. There are a lot more forms of intelligence than just your traditional reading, writing, and math.

Quote:
• $4,000 college tuition for 100 hours public service/year
Again, source of funding? American citizens should try actually saving and investing their money for a change.

Quote:
• Double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs to serve one million more children.
Parenting should be the answer here, not government funding.

Quote:
• Streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.
Brilliant idea. This will streamline paperwork and make use of the considerable infrastructure already in place with the IRS. I'm hopeful that there are other politicians who are actually considering improving efficiencies within the government's processes.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Yes, Yes, Yes! One thing I really like about his proposal is that it's incentive based and the good kind of incentives.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

I think the standardized tests thing means that SATs really aren't standardized and varies from community to community. What may mean one thing to community A, may mean something completely different to community B.

(This applies only to the reading/verbal section, because math is universal)

Ergo, schools are limiting itself in teaching because they have to try to teach what correlates to the SAT, thus limiting the creativity within the schools.

I agree with SATs not being standardized but I can't say that I understand how it limits the creativity. Hell, I was just shooting from the hip with that explanation.. But I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

I think the standardized testing are the SOL's actually. It limits creativity in that teachers have to teach the material that will be on the SOL's. Teaching anything else is moot because the SOL's are all that matter for gauging a school districts academic progress.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:53 PM   #9
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamiteRave View Post
I think the standardized tests thing means that SATs really aren't standardized and varies from community to community. What may mean one thing to community A, may mean something completely different to community B.

(This applies only to the reading/verbal section, because math is universal)

Ergo, schools are limiting itself in teaching because they have to try to teach what correlates to the SAT, thus limiting the creativity within the schools.

I agree with SATs not being standardized but I can't say that I understand how it limits the creativity. Hell, I was just shooting from the hip with that explanation.. But I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying.
Yeah I think I gotcha. You're saying that the SATs force teachers/schools to gear their teaching styles towards the test.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I happen to love the SAT and think it's a great measure. It combines good probing questions with the need to perform under pressure (time limit). I think you need a degree of standardization in schools all across the land. After all, all students are headed to the same real world and job market, aren't they?

The SATs are a funny animal though - those who did well on them tend to like them. Those who didn't... not so much.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:54 PM   #10
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by 724Skinsfan View Post
I think the standardized testing are the SOL's actually. It limits creativity in that teachers have to teach the material that will be on the SOL's. Teaching anything else is moot because the SOL's are all that matter for gauging a school districts academic progress.
Yeah yous is right. Nobody's forced to take the SAT, that's a college requirement. The SOL or whatever is the standardized test used to measure schools against one another.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Hey SS - how about a third option for "Abstain"? Would be interesting to see how many are in the middle...
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #12
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by 724Skinsfan View Post
I think the standardized testing are the SOL's actually. It limits creativity in that teachers have to teach the material that will be on the SOL's. Teaching anything else is moot because the SOL's are all that matter for gauging a school districts academic progress.
Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. I once dated this girl who was a schoolteacher (I imagine she still is), and she used to complain about how she had to spend so much time preparing her students for a standardized test that they never spent sufficient time on any creative learning/thinking. She didn't feel she was really preparing her students, or allowed to prepare her students, for real life. On a side note, her colleagues were Jenna Bush and Mike Shanahan's daughter. Kinda cool.

Schneed, I think we're basically on the same page about this. I'm glad that Obama at least seems to have some semblance of a plan, while rough around the edges. My biggest question is where will the funding come from for many of these projects to take place. And would we be depending too much on government funding?
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlydarksets View Post
Hey SS - how about a third option for "Abstain"? Would be interesting to see how many are in the middle...
Done
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:08 PM   #14
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamiteRave View Post
Hell yes.

If I can get $4,000 for my tuition while only putting forth 100 hours of community service, you damn well better believe I'm on board for that.

That's $4,000 that can stay in my bank account.
But thats also a new tax that you will be paying your entire life to support.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:20 PM   #15
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Re: Understanding the Issues: Education

Obama's Education Plan will cost about 18 billion annually which means we're not exactly breaking the bank. It's short on details as far as how he will pay for it but giving it's cost estimates and the fact that it's an investment with attachments I am more inclined to be in favor of it even at 30 Billion dollars a year. Lord knows "Rarely is the question asked, Is our children learning?"
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