VP Debate: Education gets mentioned!

In last night’s Vice Presidential Debate, education and teaching got a mention, briefly.

We report, you decide:

1:10 – Gov. Palin:

I know that education you are passionate about. And with your wife being a teacher for 30 years — and God bless her; her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that, and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a — a house full of schoolteachers. My grandma was. My dad, who’s in the audience today, he’s a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best school teacher in the year — and here’s a shout out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School. You get extra credit for watching this debate. (Laughter.)Education in America has been, in some sense, in some of our states, just accepted to be a little bit lax. And we have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented, is not doing the job, though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind.We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. We need to make sure that education in either one of our agendas I think absolute top of the line. My kids, as public school participants right now, it’s near and dear to my heart. I’m very, very concerned about where we’re going in education, and we have got to ramp it up and put more attention in that arena.

1:14 – Sen. Biden

I hope we’ll get back to education, because I don’t know any government program that John is supporting — not early education, more money for it. The reason No Child Left Behind was left behind was the money was left behind. We didn’t fund it.

Take a look for yourself at C-Span’s Debate Hub.  Video after the jump.

Palin’s statement (about 4:20 in):

…and Biden’s response (about 1:20 in):

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3 Responses to VP Debate: Education gets mentioned!

  1. […] we’re lucky, education policy will get a mention in tonight’s debate, […]

  2. Jason Blake says:

    I’m glad that both of them mentioned the No Child Left Behind act. However, I was disappointed in their answers. I am glad that Palin mentioned that it needed change, but I felt she needed to go farther with that statement. NCLB needs a complete overhaul, or to just be abandoned for something much better. I want someone to recognize its terrible failure. Biden’s response was very disheartening. All he mentioned was putting MORE money into it. Funding is NOT the issue, and I hope we won’t be pouring even more money into this disaster.

  3. Jessica says:

    I was really happy to see education addressed in a debate I figured would focus solely on discussion of economic issues and foreign policy. Matthew Yglesias had what I thought was a thoughtful response to this moment in the debate, particularly with respect to Palin’s statements about the importance of education. (The full article is here and is an analysis of Sarah Palin’s candidacy, http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/10/the_metacandidate.php, be warned that it’s a highly partisan piece, but I think with some merit for people interested in education on both sides of the aisle). The pertinent part appears below:

    “Instead, McCain’s tax and budget policies have the following inflation-adjusted consequences for education:

    * Cuts in Head Start.
    * Cuts in Preschool.
    * Cuts in elementary school.
    * Cuts in college aid.

    And that’s in aggregate terms. In per capita terms, the cuts will be bigger…At the same time, we’re heading into an economic slowdown that will force state and local government to cut back on their investments in early education, primary and secondary education, and higher education.”

    Regardless of your political loyalties, I think Yglesias’ point that economic circumstances are going to have a real impact on the ability of government to fund and deliver public services is something that we all, as individuals committed to Breakthrough’s values, need to be thinking about. Most of our kids attend public schools that are underfunded as it is. What are the next few years going to look like for them?

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