The last question in the debate yesterday was the one that I was very interested to hear about. My wife is a teacher by trade, and has a masters in education, so I get to hear a lot about it :)
What I heard from the candidates was this:
He talked about the importance of education, and how this pays it forward for everything, from economy to national security. He discussed early childhood education and how important it is. Emily say a lot of data on this and was jumping up and down :)
McCain on the other hand talked about vouchers (which is exactly throwing money at the problem even though he said that isn’t the solution!) which I am totally against.
And then he focused on gimics. Teach for America? Troops to Teach? The kicker here is that he talked how troops should NOT have to take any “exams” and should be able to start teaching when they come back. Are you freaking kidding me? “Oh, you were in the forces? You must be a fantastic teacher! Come and teach our kids!”
Of course, there will be some fantastic teachers that come through T4A and the armed forces, but with nothing in place to support them we are destined for a lot of failure. The idea that you can take someone “smart” and throw them into a class room after a few months of “training” is nuts. Educating is tough, and is a science. We need to go the other way and really support teachers and incent them in a variety of ways.
There is so much that can be done here. I know that the economy if on the forefront of the brain, but this is huge if you want to bet long on the US. The world is changing.