Education In The 2001 Election Essay

2753 words - 11 pages

Education in the 2001 Election

The United States has always been criticized for its weakness in education. Although the country is considered the greatest superpower of the world, it has constantly been at the rear of education. Other countries seem to have more core academic instruction, better success rates, a longer school year, and quicker learning, such as starting to read and write and starting certain math and science subjects at earlier ages. The United States however has been slowly improving since 1963. Despite such slow and steady change, education has almost always been one of the predominant issues in the presidential elections. This topic particularly played a significant role in the 2000 Presidential Election. Education was a main issue in this election, especially between the Republican and Democratic candidates, not only because of the fact that it is in dire need of reforms and improvements, but also for several other reasons as well.
Although George W. Bush, the Republican candidate, and Al Gore, the Democratic candidate, have extremely opposing views and plans concerning education, they also share a great deal in common. Al Gore's policy on education supports a 10-year, $115 billion plan paid for by an education trust fund financed with ten percent of the surplus that is not dedicated to Social Security or debt reduction (Crowley 6). He is opposed to school vouchers for private, religious, and home schools, however he does support national education standards. He says, "We need to invest and demand more; not aim too invest too little and drain resources away from public schools with private school vouchers," (Snow 2). Gore would encourage states to test their students, but he would measure progress based on a natural test. States and school districts would be required to identify failing schools. If those schools didn't turn around within two years, they'd be shut down and reopened with a new principal (Snow 3). Gore's education agenda would triple the number of charter schools, and require schools to issue performance report cards to help parents select the right school for their child (Snow 3). He would allow parents to move their kids from failing schools to better public schools, but he strongly opposes giving parents money for tuition. Gore proposes the creation of 401(j) Life Long Learning Accounts. From these accounts, employers and families would be able to contribute up to $2500 annually (Crowley 7). The invested earnings could be withdrawn and used tax-free if they were to be used for education expenses or "qualified life-long learning," or they could be used after the age of thirty to acquire new job skills ( Crowley 7). The extra tax credit would match fifty percent of the individual contribution. In addition, he would support the College Opportunity Tax Cut, which would provide a choice between a tax deduction or a twenty-eight percent tax credit up to $10,000 in tuition in order to make...

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