Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lord Sparring With Shadegg On Education...

The problem, for Shadegg anyway, is that it's a one-sided fight.

Let's start with the basics - while Shadegg's campaign site touts the fact that he is married to a public teacher which helps him to "understand" the importance of education and teaching-related issues, that "understanding" hasn't been transformed into real-world support for students or teachers.

A quick comparison -

On math and science instruction:

Lord (courtesy his education plan/position paper unless otherwise noted) - "Every grade level should have a robust science and math curriculum, and the recruitment of math and science graduates into the teaching profession should be a priority."

Shadegg - voted against the 21st Century Competitiveness Act, which strengthened math and science instruction.

On early childhood education:

Lord - "We must make an increased investment in early childhood education, like early Head Start and Head Start, and help states enact universal pre-school programs and all-day Kindergarten."

Shadegg - voted against passage of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act (H.R. 1429), an act to update and extend the Head Start Program.

On access to higher education:

Lord - "Any child who works hard, does well in school, and wants to attend college should have the opportunity to do so. Affordable student loans with low interest rates give children the chance to go after their dreams. Increased Pell Grants also will expand college access to thousands of students."

Shadegg - voted against the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669), an act that included language that lowered student loan interest rates, increased the maximum amount for Pell Grant awards, and increased support for those students who choose to become teachers. (You know - the career that his own wife chose, a choice that he believes grants to him an insight into the educational needs of the country.)

On health care for young students:

Lord (from a press release on Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion) - "Vetoing this bill puts tens of thousands of Arizona's most vulnerable children at risk of losing their health insurance," said Bob Lord. "It is not just President Bush who is to blame. John Shadegg has stood against this program since its creation and he continues to stand against offering basic health insurance to our poorest children."

Shadegg - Rationalized his opposition to SCHIP by calling the program a "fraud". (Page H10873 of the Congressional Record)

Perhaps the best summary of the relative positions on education of Lord and Shadegg comes from the National Education Association (NEA) -

Shadegg earns an "F" or its equivalent from the NEA, year after year - 2007 - F, 2006 - F. 2005 - C (must've backslid that year :) ), 2003-2004 - 15%, 2001-2002 - 0%.

Lord earns the NEA's endorsement.

If there are any other questions -

On Friday, Bob Lord will be meeting with Arizona educators for a "Back to School Education Roundtable Discussion" at the Phoenix Public Library Mesquite Branch, 4525 Paradise Village Parkway North, Phoenix from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. The public is invited.

Next week, John Shadegg will be hobnobbing in D.C. with lobbyists and other ultra-conservatives to raise money for conservative candidates for Senate.

OK, so there probably aren't any other questions. I just wanted to throw that out there. :))


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