Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's "Out-Educate" the World, Says Democratic National Platform

Let's "Out-Educate" the World, Says Democratic National Platform

The 2012 Democratic National Platform, released and approved at last week's Democratic National Convention, outlines where the party stands on key issues. The document draws a direct connection between education and the economy: "Democrats believe that getting an education is the surest path to the middle class, giving all students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and contribute to the economy and democracy."

In addition, the platform asserts that a world-class education system will ensure the United States remains globally competitive for years to come and affirms that "there is no substitute for a great teacher at the head of a classroom."

The platform calls for
  • Higher standards "so students graduate ready for college or career and can succeed in a dynamic global economy." The platform doesn't mention the Common Core State Standards by name but refers to the 46 states that have adopted them.

  • Expanding public school options for low-income youth, "including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies."

  • Raising the standards of teacher preparation programs, recognizing and rewarding good teaching, retaining good teachers, and preventing more teacher layoffs.

  • Using "carefully crafted evaluation systems that give struggling teachers a chance to succeed and protect due process if another teacher has to be put in the classroom."

  • Supporting art and music education in primary and secondary schools.

  • Making college more affordable for students of all backgrounds. It references the party's previous efforts to double the investment in Pell Grant scholarships; provide the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college; and ensure federal student loan payments are only 10 percent of students' monthly earnings.

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