Center for Education Reform Grades the Candidates for U.S. Senate

Is the election almost over yet? All the scary political attack ads are giving me bad dreams, and I can’t believe how gullible some politicians are to think they can buy my vote by promising me all sorts of goodies. President whatz-his-name wants to take money from someone else and give it to me. Congressman so-and-so says he’s going to make my life better. Such-and-such amendment on the ballot has to pass “for the children.” (Then again, I wonder if they realize they’re trying to buy the vote of a 5-year-old, but I digress….)

Puh-lease. My parents don’t even treat me like that.

Anyway, in the meantime, if you haven’t voted and you care about school choice and accountability, the Center for Education Reform (CER) has graded candidates for U.S. Senate across the country, based on their support of the D.C. school choice program, federal funds to start up innovative charter schools, and the No Child Left Behind Act. A possible 3 points for each issue makes 9 a perfect score.

In Colorado, Republican Bob Schaffer received a 6 out of 9. His scores are perfect on school choice and charter schools. However, he opposed the final version of No Child Left Behind as a Congressman because he said its choice and accountability provisions had been watered down. I’m not sure if it’s fair to mark down Schaffer for that reason or not, but that’s what CER has done.

Schaffer’s opponent, Democrat Mark Udall, received a 3 out of 9. He received one point for weak support of charter school funding, and two points for moderate support of No Child Left Behind. But Udall has won the support of the National Education Association and opposes providing scholarships for at-risk kids in one of the nation’s worst school systems to attend a private school of their choice.

If you live in another state besides Colorado where they are voting on a U.S. Senator this year, the CER report card (I know I get better grades than most of these politicians) has basic information for you, too. Some key states where there is a huge difference between the candidates on education reform are: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.