The Issues: Education

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    What’s at stake:

    The next president will have the opportunity to shape education polices, such as the No Child Left Behind Act , for the next four years.

    While the goal of the No Child Left Behind Act was good, the reality has fallen short of those expectations, senior early childhood education major Emily Fore said.

    The No Child Left Behind Act is the main federal law affecting education from kindergarten through high school, according to U.S. Department of Education Web site. The act focuses on four principles: accountability, parent choices, greater local control and doing what works best based on scientific research, according to the Web site.

    The act was signed by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002.

    “It has potential,” Fore said. “It’s going to be hard to find a solution because it’s hard to assess that many children.”

    Obama says:

    Sen. Barack Obama’s plan calls for the creation of assessment models that would track a student’s progress and allow teachers to improve student learning, according to his campaign Web site.

    His plan would also include funding for additional assessments that would evaluate other skills, such as students’ ability to use technology and present and defend their ideas.

    McCain says:

    Sen. John McCain’s plan focuses on improving education standards and attracting quality teachers, according to his campaign Web Site.

    McCain plans to set aside $250 million in competitive grants for virtual math and science programs in addition to online tutoring.

    McCain would also give 5 percent of Title II funding to states that recruit educators in the top 25 percent of their class or participate in alternative recruitment programs, such as Teach for America.

    Title II, part A, is intended to raise the academic achievement of students by helping schools and school districts improve teacher and principal quality, according to the Scholastic Web site for federal funding.

    The U.S. Department of Education distributes funds to state education agencies, who in turn distribute funds to school districts. Local school districts must allocate the funds to qualifying school campuses based upon student enrollment, according to the Web site.

    For more information about the candidates education plans go to: www.johnmccain.com and www.barackobama.com