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McCain Distorts Obama’s Education Record and His Own

Continues to push failed education policies of the Bush administration


WASHINGTON - August 01, 2008 -

John McCain's remarks before the National Urban League Annual Conference today showed how he would follow lockstep behind the failed policies of the Bush administration and continue to place political games above meaningful dialogue and reform.

The following can be attributed to NEA President Reg Weaver:

"It is incomprehensible that Sen. McCain would choose to criticize Sen. Obama's proposed education policies. McCain has shown that under his leadership, America's children will never achieve the skills necessary to survive in the 21st century. Teachers need to be respected participants in the conversation, students need support, schools need resources, and parents and communities need to be involved.  Senator Obama understands that.

"McCain's answer for America's future? A pathway to privatization—failed voucher schemes and ploys to water down teacher certification. An overwhelming majority of teachers everyday give their heart and soul for the children of this country. McCain would rather blame the nation’s public schoolteachers, than work with them to provide true education reform.

"Sen. Obama knows that if you want to improve public schools, ask a teacher. He understands the importance of consulting with those who work with students on a daily basis. McCain, however, seems to disregard our nation’s teachers and deny our public schools what they really need—smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks and computers, qualified and caring teachers and education support professionals in every classroom, and actively involved parents and community leaders.

"The education policies of the Bush administration have failed because a key group was effectively cut off and cut out of the process—the teachers. Obama has pledged to be an 'honest partner' with teachers, but McCain's attacks on educators, and his attacks on Obama for listening to educators, show that a McCain presidency would look strikingly similar to the Bush presidency. And that’s something that should concern all of us."

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Will Potter  (202) 822-7823