Al Gore on Education

Bush voucher plan would result in a huge new federal program

His vouchers would harm education. In fact, his private school vouchers would give no choice to the millions of children he would leave behind in failing schools. Under his plan, states would be forced to offer vouchers and finance them - a brand new federal mandate - whether states and local districts like vouchers or not.
Source: Speech in Nashville Oct 26, 2000

Claimed $10,000 tuition tax cut worth $800 over current plan

Gore, by omission, made his plan to help parents with the costs of college sound more generous than it is. “I want to give every middle class family a $10,000-a-year tax deduction for college tuition,” the Democrat said. That’s true, but a tax credit is already available for that purpose. Gore actually offers people a choice of an increased tax credit or the tax deduction. The additional benefit, for many families, would be $800.
Source: Associated Press analysis of St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Recruit teachers, improve classrooms, help failing schools

Q: What is your education plan?

BUSH: I believe accountability encourages parental involvement. We need to say to people that if you cannot meet standards, there has to be a consequence, instead of the soft bigotry of low expectations. One of the consequences is we allow parents to have choices.

GORE: I see a day where there are no failing schools; where the classrooms are small enough so the teacher can spend one-on-one time with each student. That means recruiting teachers. It means hiring bonuses to get 100,000 new teachers in the next four years. It means helping with interest-free bonding authority, so that we can build new schools and modernize classrooms. I want to give every middle class family a $10,000 deduction for college tuition to send their kids to college. If a school is failing, we work with the states to give them the authority and resources to close down that school and reopen it with a new principal, a new faculty.

Source: (X-ref Bush) St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Make $10,000 of college tuition tax deductible annually

Big corporations get a tax write off for education or training for their high-paid executives. But for hard-working, middle-class families, you don’t get enough help to afford your kids’ college tuition. Al Gore understands middle-class families need help: $10,000 of college tuition tax deductible every year to help middle-class families send their kids to college. “We need help for middle-class families to pay college tuition. I’m for a lifelong commitment to education,” Gore says.
Source: Gore TV advertisement, “College” Oct 6, 2000

$176B over 10 years for pre-school, special ed, & more

Source: Boston Globe, p. A24 Oct 3, 2000

Agrees with teacher unions on vouchers, salary, & class size

Gore’s plans depend on leaving the existing public-school structure in place; a man who depends on the support of the teachers’ unions can hardly do otherwise. But he would also attempt to improve it by:
  • spending $50 billion to offer preschool education to every 4-year-old by 2005
  • introducing mandatory testing for teachers & salary bonuses for the most successful
  • reducing class sizes
  • bolstering after-school programs
  • building on existing proposals to improve failing schools.
    Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000” Sep 30, 2000

    $170B on education over next 10 years

    “Getting a diploma is not the end of an education, but just the beginning. We need to make college education and skill training available for a lifetime.” Gore hopes to prevail with proposals to make up to $10,000 in tuition expenses tax deductible. Also included in the $170 billion additional federal spending for education over 10 years, is a 401(k)-styled system letting parents -- and working professionals eyeing advanced degrees -- a tax-free, inflation-protected nest egg for tuition.
    Source: AP Story, NY Times Sep 13, 2000

    Voluntary school prayer is ok, if teachers aren’t involved

    Gore was asked what he could do as president to bring prayer back to the classroom. After joking that there would always be prayer in schools as long as there are arithmetic tests, Gore said that “in some school settings the impression is given that it’s wrong if a student wants to exercise or display his or her faith or engage in a truly voluntary prayer that the school employees have nothing to do with.” Supreme Court prohibitions against organized school prayer, he said, have sometimes been “taken to an extreme that actually discriminates against some people of faith who wish to bring faith into their school life.”
    Source: Kevin Sack, NY Times Sep 12, 2000

    Large federal role in education, including tax deductions

    Gore calls for a $115 billion public education investment plan paid out of a trust fund and with 10 percent of the federal budget surplus. Rather than deny funding to lagging schools, says they should be shut down and reopened under new administrations. He is opposed to vouchers. Gore has also proposed initiatives to help families pay their education and job training costs, including tax deductions for college tuition; Life-Long Learning investment accounts, and a National Tuition Savings Program.
    Source: Ian Christopher McCaleb, CNN Sep 11, 2000

    Agrees with unions against vouchers; disagrees on testing

    Gore has hewed close to the needs and desires of teachers. If Gore wins, there will be a payoff for teachers unions. “They get a president who’s probably going to veto any bill that has the slightest hint of a voucher program in it,” [a policy expert] said. “They’re going to get a president who’s probably going to propose new spending programs on education.”

    [In the Iowa primaries], Gore said that he would propose testing all new teachers and allow schools to hire teachers based on their expertise, without regard to seniority. Both ideas have long been anathema to the unions. NEA officials insist that they support testing of new teachers, but not existing ones, and in April the AFT proposed a national test for new teachers.

    In May, Gore served up two more controversial ideas: setting standards for teacher tenure based partly on student performance and giving bonuses to good teachers based in part on student performance.

    Source: Jill Zuckman, , Boston Globe, p. A10 Jun 3, 2000

    Encourage after-school with tax credits & funds for schools

    Source: Press Release “After-School Initiatives” May 25, 2000

    Seeks transformation of educational system in 4 years

    By the end of the next Presidential term, parents across the country ought to be able to choose the best public school for their children. By the end of the next Presidential term, every failing school in this nation should be turned around -- or shut down and reopened under new leadership. By the end of the next Presidential term, we should have a fully-qualified, well-trained teacher in every single classroom, everywhere in America. By the end of the next Presidential term, all states should make sure that every high school graduate has mastered the basics of reading and math -- so that a high school diploma really means something. This is my goal: by the year 2005, every state working to close the achievement gap between children from different backgrounds; rich and poor; urban, suburban, and rural. A school system that holds every student, every school, and every state accountable for real results.
    Source: Speech to National Conference of Black Mayors, Dallas TX Apr 28, 2000

    Stress early learning, small classes, & classroom technology

    My education plan begins with a 50% increase in our national commitment to education. My plan makes high-quality pre-school universally available -- because research shows that early learning is vital to success in later grades and later life. My education plan invests in smaller schools and smaller classes - because we know that is one of the most effective ways to improve student performance. My education plan rebuilds and modernizes 6,000 public schools buildings across America -- because you can’t get a 21st Century education in a 19th Century classroom. My education plan puts computers in every classroom, and uses new technology to tailor learning to each child’s pace and needs. In this Information Age, it is foolish to be bound by a one-size-fits-all curriculum.
    Source: Speech to National Conference of Black Mayors, Dallas TX Apr 28, 2000

    5-point plan: High school exit exams; focus on character

      Al Gore today detailed a five-point plan to hold states and schools accountable for helping students from all backgrounds reach high academic standards:
    1. TURNS AROUND FAILING SCHOOLS: Help states and school districts identify failing schools; if a school does not make significant progress after two years, it would be closed down and reopened.
    2. EXPANDS PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE: More choice and competition within the public school system.
    3. PROMOTES HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMS: Help reduce dropout rate; and ensure that high school students can read and do math at high school levels before graduating.
    4. REWARDS SUCCESS, INSISTS ON CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE: Provide clear financial incentives for states that successfully improve student achievement.
    5. FOCUSES ON DISCIPLINE, CHARACTER AND SAFETY: create second-chance schools; afternoon schools for teens; and smaller class sizes.
    Source: Press release for Conference of Black Mayors Apr 28, 2000

    Focus on discipline, character and safety in schools

    Gore’s education plan calls for a renewed focus on discipline, character and safety in schools. Gore would create second-chance schools where children headed for trouble, and those caught with guns, could receive the strict discipline and intensive services they need. Under a Gore administration more children would have a place to learn in the afternoon hours when most juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use occur.
    Source: Press release for Conference of Black Mayors Apr 28, 2000

    Highlights of 10-year $115B education program

    Source: Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 2, 2000

    “Revolutionary plan”: 50% more for public schools

    He’s the only Democratic candidate to make education a priority. Al Gore. A revolutionary plan to improve our public schools by increasing our commitment to education by over 50 percent. Universal pre-school. Smaller class sizes. Higher standards. Teacher training. Modernize schools and connect every classroom to the Internet.
    Source: Television advertisement in NH & Iowa Jan 13, 2000

    $5B/year for universal preschool for 3- & 4-year-olds

    Gore sketched a 10-year, $50 billion proposal for a “universal preschool initiative that will make high-quality preschool available to every 4-year-old in America and expand coverage to 3-year-olds.” Gore continued, “Most learning takes place in the first few years of life, and if kids get off to a good start before they ever get to kindergarten, the chances for them to succeed in life, to have good jobs, to lead fulfilling lives, is greatly enhanced.” Federal matching grants to the states would allow 4-year-olds greater access to preschool, Gore said. And with some parents sure not to take advantage of the opportunity, the leftover money could be used for programs for 3-year-olds. The Gore campaign said that what he proposed was different from a voucher system, because it would give money not to individual families but to the states, which would run the program.
    Source: Boston Globe, p. A22 Dec 23, 1999

    Hire 2M teachers over next 10 years

    We need 2.2 million new teachers over the next ten years. I propose the 21st Century Teacher Corps with $10,000 hiring bonuses for young people, and $10,000 bonuses for mid-career professionals to join the teaching profession. I think that we ought to devote more of our national income to education reform.
    Source: Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

    Make schools violence-free and drug-free

    Gore has called for more character education and discipline in our schools. He has called for strong national measures to break up violent teen gangs and keep guns and drugs off the streets and away from schools. He has worked to put more drug counselors and violence prevention coordinators in public schools. And he has championed quality after-school care, to give children safe, supervised places to go during the afternoon hours when most juvenile crime takes place.
    Source: (Cross-ref from Education) Jun 14, 1999

    Connect every school to the Internet

    Together with President Clinton, Gore set a national goal of connecting every classroom and library in the US to the Internet--and fought for the passage of deep discounts to make Internet access affordable for the every school and library in the nation. Already, we are halfway toward achieving that goal. Al Gore is working toward a 21st Century where a child can reach across a computer keyboard and read any book ever written, see any painting ever painted, and hear any symphony ever composed.
    Source: 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

    Al Gore on Accountability

    Investment in public education; with testing & local control

    Q: What is your education plan?

    GORE: I strongly support local control. I’m in favor of testing as a way of measuring performance. We’ve got to recruit 100,000 new teachers, and I have budgeted for that. We’ve got to reduce the class. We ought to have universal preschool. And we ought to make college tuition tax deductible up to $10,000 a year. I want the federal government, consistent with local control and new accountability, to make improvement of our schools the number one priority.

    Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000

    Stress accountability; close the “achievement gap”

      [I stress] five key areas of accountability:
    1. turn around failing schools
    2. expand public school choice
    3. measure the progress of our high schools
    4. increase discipline & safety in our schools
    5. and hold states & schools accountable for closing the achievement gap.
    These reforms will not be easy or inexpensive. But all of my accountability proposals have the same fundamental purpose: to boost student achievement, close the achievement gap in our schools, & make sure no child is left behind.
    Source: Speech to National Conference of Black Mayors, Dallas TX Apr 28, 2000

    Supports Goals 2000 & standards-based movement

    Q: Should federal money be linked to how well students perform on national or statewide tests? A: I believe that federal money should be used to reward success and to support what works. I am pleased to note the success of the standards-based movement; with the help of our Goals 2000 program, today 48 states have developed standards for student performance. I believe we should invest more in all our public schools, which is why I have proposed an additional $115 billion over 10 years to support education initiatives from preschool to college. But we cannot tolerate failing schools either. Every state and every school district should be required to identify failing schools and work to turn them around-with strict accountability for results and strong incentives for success. And if these failing schools don’t improve quickly, they should be shut down and re-opened with new leadership and a full peer evaluation of every teacher.
    Source: Associated Press Feb 23, 2000

    $10K “Teacher Corps” bonus; hire & test teachers

    Source: Boston Globe, p. A12, “Gore details plan” May 17, 1999

    Test teachers; remove failing tenured teachers

    Every new teacher should pass a rigorous test before they set foot in the classroom-a test that measures their knowledge of the subject they will teach. The granting of a teaching license should be followed by rigorous performance evaluations. And every 5 years, those evaluations should be used to determine whether a license is renewed. No teaching license should be a lifetime job guarantee. I urge faster but fair ways to identify, improve-and when necessary-remove low-performing teachers.
    Source: Commencement address: Graceland College, Iowa May 16, 1999

    End social promotion; turn around failing schools

    He believes we must end social promotion in America, so no one graduates with a diploma he or she can barely even read. He believes in special measures to turn around failing schools--and ending the use of unqualified teachers, some of whom are teaching in areas they didn’t even study. He believes in discipline and character education, and an emphasis on community service in our schools.
    Source: 5/15/99 May 15, 1999

    Al Gore on College

    $36B for tuition after saving Medicare & Social Security

    Gore told an audience that he hoped to boost college attendance and graduation rates by making college tuition tax-deductible, giving tax credits and deductions for college savings and keeping interest rates low for student loans. The full tuition strategy could cost the government as much as $36 billion. Immediate preservation of the Social Security and Medicare programs would ensure that education stayed a viable government priority leading into the next decade and beyond.
    Source: Sep 8, 2000

    More resources for education: tax breaks for college

    Learning is the key [to maintaining the new economy]. That means education must command more of our attention, more of our time, and more of our resources. So together, let’s open the doors of learning to all.

    Let’s raise college attendance rates to record levels-by making most college tuition tax deductible. Let’s help middle-class families save for college, tax-free and inflation-free, with a national tuition savings program. And let’s keep interest rates low, so student loans are more affordable.

    Source: Speech, “Prosperity For America’s Families,” Cleveland, OH Sep 6, 2000

    Make saving and borrowing for college easier

    Source: 191-page economic plan, “Prosperity for American Families” Sep 6, 2000

    Make college tuition tax-deductible

    This nation was a pioneer of universal public education. Let’s set a specific new goal for the first decade of the 21st Century: high-quality universal pre-school - available to every child, in every family, all across this country. We also have to give middle-class families help in paying for college with tax-free college savings, and by making most college tuition tax-deductible. Open the doors of learning to all.
    Source: Speech to the Democratic National Convention Aug 18, 2000

    Reduce class sizes; make college savings plans

    I want to bring revolutionary change to our schools. I want to reduce class sizes not just in the early grades, but in all grades. I want to work with parents and teachers to use new technology to tailor learning to each child. I want to make it easier for parents to save for their children’s college tuition -- tax-free and inflation-free. And I believe teachers should be treated like professionals - I want to improve teacher quality, and lift up America’s teachers.
    Source: Women for Gore speech, Washington DC Jun 1, 1999

    National Tuition Savings program to send kids to college

    I propose a National Tuition Savings program [which] let families invest their money in special accounts, which grow tax-free. We should allow each parent’s savings to be used in any participating state, and use incentives to encourage states that do not have the programs to create them. Under this plan, if you make small, regular contributions to the program after your child’s birth, you’ll be able to afford college tuition - with protection from taxes, inflation, and rising college costs.
    Source: Commencement address: Graceland College, Iowa May 16, 1999

    More student loans & grants; make 2 years of college free

    Al Gore has worked to expand student loans and lower their cost to students; to create HOPE Scholarship tax credits, to make the first two years of college virtually free for every American; to expand Pell Grants for needy students to attend college; and to defend these crucial priorities when some in Congress tried to block or cut them. Al Gore believes that in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st Century, everyone who is willing to work for it must have the chance to go to college.
    Source: 5/15/99 May 15, 1999

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