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From A to Z: How to reinvent education

By Emily Pauker


With the 2008 presidential election approaching quickly, education has returned as an issue on the minds of many Americans, from educators, to parents and college students.


All of the major candidates have addressed education in some way; former New York senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Illinois Senator Barack Obama, former Arizona Senator John McCain, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. For instance, on Obama and Clinton’s web-sites they have entire links that go to education.


In general, Democrats have addressed issues of teachers, funding higher education, and early childhood education, and Republicans have generally addressed issues of vouchers or school choice. However, even in the cases where Democrats or Republicans have not directly addressed an issue they may have criticized the other party’s position on an issue and thus indirectly commented on an issue. And both parties have commented on No Child Left Behind legislation, virtually all candidates agreeing that it needs an overhaul.


In the chart below these education issues are examined so that their positions during the campaign are given. However, if a candidate has not explicitly addressed an issue their past record may be listed if relevant.


Click on the graphic to cycle through the candidates' stances on five different topics in education.



Sources: The State (Columbia, S.C.), States News Service, Gannett News Service, The Washington Post,, transcripts from the MTV/MySpace debate, transcript from the PBS debate, transcript from the YouTube Debates, transcripts of speeches at Plymouth state from, transcripts of speeches from, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, The Des Moines Register, Targeted News Service, Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News, The Boston Globe, Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.), New York Post, CNN Republican Debate on June 5, 2007, The Hotline, The Economist