Tuesday, July 03, 2007

NEA Report #5 -- Meet the Candidates

All of the presidential candidates were invited to address the delegates of the Representative Assembly. Today we heard from Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Christopher Dodd.

Hillary Clinton was an amazingly dynamic speaker. She focused almost exclusively on the importance of public education. In the question and answer session following her speech (just two questions for each candidate) she clarified her stand on charter schools -- making clear that she supports public charter schools, but not (NOT.in.any.way.shape.or.form.) vouchers.

John Edwards embedded his comments about the importance of public education within his campaign focus on ending poverty and eradicating the "two America's" and the "two public school systems" about which he often speaks. The look on Edwards' face was priceless when he was asked how NCLB can close the poverty gap. He simply couldn't answer that question! (Who could?!?!)

Christopher Dodd doesn't just "talk the talk" on education issues, he "walks the walk." He pointed out to us that in his 30 year career in the senate and congress, he has a 100% voting record with NEA. His belief in organized labor drives his candidacy, and his answer to the question, "What's the number one problem in America?" has been, for 26 years, "The education of America's children."

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