Tag Archives: platform

Money for Sarah Palin's Wardrobe May Be Better Spent on Remedial Math

I don’t mind that the president of the Denver teachers union uses her office as a platform to bash someone running for vice president of the United States: Think about it… [Sarah] Palin’s wardrobe allowance would educate a classroom of 23 students for a year in Colorado. We need to “CHANGE” this! If she wants to complain about the Republican National Committee spending $150,000 on wardrobe for Palin and her family, that’s certainly the Denver union president’s prerogative. But she at least ought to get her math right. Since I’m still working on simple addition, I trusted one of my friends in the Education Policy Center to run the calculation. So you may have to try this for yourself to verify it. According to the Colorado Department of Education, the state average for public school operational expenditures in 2006-07 (the most recent data available) was $8,754 per student. Run the calculation, and you’ll see that $150,000 divided by $8,754 is a little more than 17 (17.135, to be precise). So let’s try the joke again: Think about it… [Sarah] Palin’s wardrobe allowance would educate a classroom of 23 17 students for a year in Colorado. We need to “CHANGE” this! […]


John McCain Plugs School Choice, but Hard Work Happens on the Ground

Yesterday I told you about the Democrats’ national education platform. So what about the other side? I had to go to bed while it was still going on, but my mom and dad said that Republican presidential candidate John McCain gave an important speech last night. He talked about education: Education — education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained, but what is the value of access to a failing school? We need… We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice. Let’s remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work. When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parent — when it fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have the choice, and their children will have that opportunity. Sen. Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucrats. […]


Joe Williams Helping Charge to Push Democrats toward Education Reform

A recent USA Today article talks about how the Democratic Party’s national platform is taking small steps away from the teachers union-defended status quo: The ink is barely dry on the official document, which outlines the party’s guiding principles, but it shows that in this fall’s general election, Democrats will stake out a few positions that unions have long opposed. Among them: paying teachers more if they raise test scores, teach in “underserved areas” or take on new responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers. Hooray for small favors. But there’s one comment in the article I especially wanted to bring to your attention: “If ever there’s going to be a time for change, this is it,” says Joe Williams, who heads Democrats for Education Reform, a centrist group with ties to the Obama campaign. He says the new platform has a greater emphasis on educational equity for poor and urban students. “We feel like this is a conversation that Democrats should be in on.” Democrats for Education Reform was the group that sponsored the recent event here in Denver where Democrat leaders called the teachers union on the carpet. That was neat, but there is more to come. Even more […]