Experts Praise Barack Obama's Education Plan

“Barack Obama realizes that education in today’s knowledge age is critical to the survival and success of both individuals and societies. His education plan is comprehensive – making essential, strategic investments at each stage of education, from early childhood through higher education. Obama understands the central importance of investing in well-prepared and well-supported teachers and school leaders, as no reform can ultimately work without highly skilled educators in every classroom in every school in every community. And he understands that schools in a globally competitive America must focus on 21st century skills –especially the critical thinking and problem solving abilities needed in a world where jobs and technologies are changing rapidly. Obama’s education plan exhibits the kind of strategic vision the U.S.will need to build an education system that can ensure a prosperous American future.” [Linda Darling Hammond, Charles Ducommon Professor of Education, Stanford University; Co-director, School Redesign Network]

“The Obama proposals for education are solidly grounded in the powerful evidence that the early years are critical for child development and that high quality child care can relieve the burdens on working families, foster skills for the next generation of Americans, promote productivity for society at large and reduce a fundamental source on inequality in American society.” [JamesJ. Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago]

“Senator Obama's plan to invest strategically in children's earliest years, putting dollars where they will do the most good, gives the youngest Americans new opportunities for top quality child care and early education. Children are the nation's most important resource--and every child deserves what the wisest parents want for their own youngsters. By strengthening "zero to five" programs that have proven their value, like Early Head Start and state prekindergarten, and giving parents affordable choices, his plan sets an agenda that can meet the challenges of the future.” [David L. Kirp, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California –Berkeley; and author of The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics]

“Senator Obama’s education plan is the most comprehensive of any presidential candidate. It addresses the challenges of early childhood and K-12 education not only in South Carolina but throughout the United States. Issues like school readiness, equity, leadership, teacher quality and curriculum development are addressed with great detail and the plan will serve as a blueprint to make America competitive in this global economy.” [Inez Tenenbaum, former South Carolina Superintendent of Education]

"Cycle after cycle, many of us have been wishing for a Democratic presidential candidate to offer thoughtful, passionate leadership on education issues. Someone who would put our children's dreams and potential first. Someone who would recognize that, second only to families, teachers matter most. Obama has delivered all this and more.” [Christopher Edley Jr., Dean, University of California – Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall); former White House Assistant Director for Domestic Policy; OMB Associate Director for Economics and Government; and Special Counsel to President Clinton]

“Senator Obama has presented a smart, progressive and ambitious agenda to provide every child in America with a truly excellent education. Imbued throughout his plan is a deep commitment to equity – to ensuring that every child in this nation, regardless of background, has access to first-rate educational opportunities. And no part of a child’s life is left unaddressed. From birth through college, Obama proposes fresh ideas to improve educational access and quality. Education is, in my estimation, the civil rights and national security issue of our time and Obama has demonstrated through this plan that he has the bold and visionary leadership that our public schools – and our children –deserve.” [Jason Kamras, 2005 National Teacher ofthe Year]

“BarackObama has put forward an intelligent and ambitious education agenda. He understands that supporting our public schools is key to addressing many of our nation’s challenges and issues. He focuses wisely on the unique challenges facing our schools and our students today. As someone who has worked in education for over 36 years, as a teacher, principal, and supervisor, I am particularly impressed by Senator Obama’s commitment to supporting our teachers and principals in order to provide them with the help and support they need to teach our students. He has promised to provide opportunities so that all children can enter school ready to learn. He includes early childhood education as well as programs to reduce the high school drop-out rate in his education plan. He is committed to involving parents in their child’s education. He leaves no one out in his plan. He has set ambitious goals and, because of his commitment to these goals, he will be successful.” [Jane LaCasse, Coordinator/Advisor, College of Graduate Studies, Plymouth State University at Concord, NH; 1987 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year; worked in education for 35 years]

“Senator Obama’s education plan is the boldest, most comprehensive, and most well-thought out plan I have ever seen from a presidential candidate. His visionary plan is precisely what we need to bring a high-quality education within the grasp of every child in America.” [Dr. WM (Bill) Lepley, Former Director of Iowa Department of Education and Superintendent of Schools]

"Obama offers the most comprehensive plan of any presidential candidate to repair our schools and improve student success. By investing in preparing and rewarding teachers and school leaders, working to close the achievement gap and lower the dropout rate, and emphasizing that our children's education needs begin at birth, Obama offers a bold vision for a 21st Century education system that puts all of our children first and treats educators like the professionals they are.” [Sonya Horsford, Visiting Professor of Educational Leadership at University of Nevada,Las Vegas]