With Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continuing to slug it out for their party's Presidential nomination, we've decided to highlight some of their key higher education policy proposals. Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, has not yet offered a detailed plan on these issues.
Last week we took a look at the proposals offered by Hillary Clinton, the junior Senator from New York. Today we examine those of her challenger, Sen. Barack Obama. The junior Senator from Illinois laid out his education plans in November.
Increase Federal Financial Aid and Make It Easier for Students to Apply for Aid
The backer of anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives tells the Rocky Mountain News he gave a "token" amount because he likes Obama's "post-racial" candidacy. It must be truly be token. The contribution does not show up in a search of the Federal Election Commission database. Given Connerly's reputation among Democrats, this is one endorsement the Illiniois senator didn't need.
In related news, Connerly's initiative in Colorado appears to have enough signatures to make the ballot. This is one of five states where he's sponsoring measures banning affirmative action in government programs.
Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate featured yet another extended exchange between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama about the merits of their respective health care plans. Health care's gotten a lot of attention in this campaign, with good reason--it's one of the biggest economic challenges facing our country, and both candidates have big, aggressive plans on it.
Yet we rarely hear much these days about another issue on which the candidates both have big, aggressive--but contrasting--plans: Early Education. Sure, the candidates toss early education into their answers to questions on other issues, and it's part of the list of policy areas where they say they'll make change. But, in all the 24 debates Democratic candidates have had so far this primary season, there hasn't been a single question specifically about early childhood education.
With Fidel Castro stepping down this weekend (see earlier TAS posts here and here), and after a bit of behind-the-scenes nudging from some of our colleagues, last night CNN and Univision asked Senators Clinton and Obama about how they would handle Cuba if they were president. And it was no brief exchange, Cuba took 9 of the debate's 90 minutes. Check it out:
The Bush administration is ratcheting up sanctions on the government of Syria. Steve Clemons comments:
GEORGE W. Bush certainly seems like he likes to strangle things. He's been trying to strangle Cuba and Cuban-American families with tightened restrictions on family-related travel to emphasize how much every President of the United States since Eisenhower has tried (and failed) to undermine Fidel Castro's government.
Now, Bush yesterday started to strangle Syria more tightly. Arguing that Syria is not doing enough to stop the movement of terrorists between Iraq and Syria, Bush issued an Executive Order increasing the number of Syrian officials whose financial assets can be held.
So -- someone on the press beat with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, ask these two presidential hopefuls if they agree with the President's action against Syria or not? If so, why? If not, what reasons would they as President use to undo our counter this action.
I'll give you my answer. Bush's move is reckless -- and threatens to add further stress to a region that is wondering whether Bush's initiative to achieve some kind of Israel/Palestine deal is real or contrived.
America needs $1.6 trillion in public investments to get our infrastructure up to date, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. New America's Economic Growth program, led by Sherle Schwenninger, argues that not only is it necessary, but in a time of recession, infrastructure-based stimulus is the best way to revive the economy.
So it's heartening to see that with rust-belt states coming up on the primary horizon, more presidential candidates are supporting public investment.
Voters in the
Here’s the good news: We’re seeing some pretty ambitious proposals on early education from the Democrats in the field. Senator Hillary Clinton would provide funds to help states create universal pre-k programs for all 4-year-olds that meet high quality standards, starting at $5 billion and ramping up to $10 billion annually in five years. She would also increase funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Senator Barack Obama has pledged to invest $10 billion annually to help states create and implement comprehensive early learning systems to serve children from birth through age five, improve Head Start and childcare quality, and expand Early Head Start. He would also make the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit partially refundable for low-income families. And both candidates have some smart ideas about supporting work-life balance to help parents spend more time with their young children. Despite some differences, both candidates are proposing serious investments that could make a real difference for American children.
What are the foreign policy implications of various presidential candidates? New America Foundation Board Member Francis Fukuyama and Senior Fellow (and Bloggingheads.tv co-founder) Robert Wright discuss.
Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama has developed a reputation as an orator, and his rhetoric on education is no exception. Education reformers have seized on his description of what he calls “These Kids Syndrome” and its harmful effect on our schools and students:
She spoke about what she called "These Kids Syndrome"--the tendency to explain away the shortcomings and failures of our education system by saying that "these kids can't learn"; or "these kids don't want to learn" or "these kids are just too far behind." And after awhile, "these kids" become somebody else's problem. And this teacher looked at me and said, "When I hear that term it drives me nuts. They're not 'these kids.' They're our kids. All of them."
Check out what New America's Mark Schmitt and Steven Clemons had to say on the subject this morning: