Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Education Debate

Last night the Obama and McCain advisors on education had a debate. Anyone see it? Will the video, for which you had to register, be made available to the general public?

For Obama
A former public school teacher [2 years in the early 70s], Linda Darling-Hammond, Palo Alto, Calif. is a leading researcher on how improving teacher quality helps student achievement, particularly for low-income children. A Yale graduate who earned her doctorate at Temple University, she has taught at Stanford since 1998. She led the redesign of Stanford’s Teacher Education Program to better prepare teachers to work in schools with diverse student populations. She and other professors helped found a charter school in Palo Alto, and she serves as vice president of the Stanford nonprofit that runs the school. Some education reformers have criticized her negative assessment of Teach for America, a popular program that puts recent college graduates in struggling schools after a few weeks of training. Darling-Hammond has said that no matter how bright and enthusiastic, a beginning teacher needs to have extensive training and certification. In 2005, she led a study that concluded certified teachers consistently produced stronger student achievement than Teach for America recruits in Houston.

For McCain
A one-time speech pathologist, Lisa Graham Keegan, Scottsdale, Ariz. began working on education policy issues as a state legislator and in 1994, was elected to the first of two terms as Arizona’s state schools superintendent. After helping to create a controversial test that set tougher academic standards for high school graduation, she took the entire test herself and posted her passing scores. Keegan, who has a master’s degree in communication disorders from Arizona State University, has served on education policy teams for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Soon after she joined the Education Leaders Council in 2001, the group amassed more than $33 million in federal grants for a program to help states and school districts meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The group came under fire after news reports in 2003 questioned its financial management. Graham Keegan resigned in 2004. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Education charged that the council wasn’t fully complying with federal regulations for spending. However, after subsequent audits, grant funding was eventually restored.

These bios came from the Catalyst Chicago web site, and it's not hard to pick out the bias, but it's the only place I found all the candidates. Plus, because this site has an archive, it is interesting to scroll through 1995-2000 reports on the Annenberg Challenge (the funds which Barack Obama distributed for various projects to improve Chicago schools) and see no progress or failure. There are other ways to track the careers on the internet, so this is just a taste.

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