Wednesday, January 30

Just the Facts: Obama Education Plan

Today, we'll look at Senator Obama's plan as outlined on his campaign site. Senator Obama's plan is broken down into three sections: Early Childhood Education, K-12 and Higher Education.

Early Childhood Education
Zero to Five Plan: Obama's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.

Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve quality for both.

Affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama will also provide affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families.

Reform No Child Left Behind
: Obama will reform NCLB, which starts by funding the law. Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.

Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to 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.

Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.

Expand Summer Learning Opportunities: Obama's "STEP UP" plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.

Support College Outreach Programs: Obama 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.

Support English Language Learners: Obama supports transitional bilingual education and will help Limited English Proficient students get ahead by holding schools accountable for making sure these students complete school.

Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers
Recruit Teachers
: Obama will create new Teacher Service Scholarships that will 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.

Prepare Teachers: Obama will require all schools of education to be accredited. He will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively.

Retain Teachers: To support our teachers, Obama's plan will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with new recruits. He will also provide incentives to give teachers paid common planning time so they can collaborate to share best practices.

Reward Teachers: Obama will promote new and innovative ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them. 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.

Higher Education
Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.

Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama will 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.


Livin' Life said...

This is such a hard topic. The real problem has more to do with the core values of our society than politics alone. Parents are not willing to pour into their children and give them the basic tools they need to achieve in school.
Mandatory preschool vs optional public school funded preschool. They may all be means of trying to fix our current situation but my heart goes out to these children and their families. I see it in my children's school. Their homework is left undone. The parents can't even send in permission slips with out be asked a million times.
One of these men or woman will be chosen and a plan proposed but the core issue will still be the state of our families in America.The moral values we choose to up hold.
This years elections has propelled me to work in my community to reach out and make a difference on family at a time.

Laura said...

I think Obama and Clinton both have good ideas about education. I like that Obama wants to reform NCLB whereas Clinton wants to just end it. I think the program has a lot of potential, but definitely a few kinks that could be worked out. Obama's ideas of reforming it could be just what needs to be done to work out those kinks.

I agree with the previous commenter about a lot of the problems the education field is seeing stems from trouble at home. Until you can make parents care about their children's education, there's not a whole lot the government can do about it. That makes me really sad!

mlm said...

I won't address eveything you covered (THANKS FOR THIS BLOG by the way), but one thing about this particular post of facts that concerns me is the number of times I read the word "funding." Translation: bigger government, higher taxes. I don't care for either.


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