We voted early today, since we had the day off. I know, why do we need a day off? I would have preferred working today and getting out of school one day earlier, but it's not up to me. I try to avoid politics on my blog. You never change anyone's mind and the controversy that it brings gets one labeled. I'm okay with that today. Label me however you want.
It was a simple choice for me based on the things I care about. The one I can talk intelligently about is education.
Being a teacher, I want No Child Left Behind revised and fully funded. McCain said he wants a spending freeze on everything except for defense and entitlement programs. Well, there you go. Our schools would continue to run at NCLB-forced deficits until the financial crisis stabilizes, further restricting our ability to operate our existing programs. In a recent NPR interview, McCain spokesperson Lisa Graham Keegan said that the Senator wants to take teacher professional development money and give it instead to principals to dole out as incentives based on the test scores of students. This would create more drones teaching to tests than we already have due to the pressure brought to bear in the school system.
He also promotes the Troops to Teachers program, so that military personnel with college degrees "can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states." Yeah, he might want to read No Child Left Behind, which forbids that sort of thing. He only voted for it, after all.
McCain and Obama both support charter schools, which by the way, don't perform any better than public schools, but McCain wants vouchers so that our budgets can be even more strained. Charter schools boast smaller class sizes and autonomy from the ordinary bureaucracies that govern schools. I would think that if everyone had that, the public schools would be more successful as well.
But at least Obama doesn't want it to come out of the public school budget.