Edwards Evening News Roundup: Teach Your Children Well Edition
by sirius, Sat Sep 22, 2007 at 05:47:21 PM EDT
Welcome to the Saturday night Edwards Evening News Roundup. Tonight, our major focus is on the education plan that John Edwards released yesterday. I think it's a great plan that will put our public education system back on track after years of neglect. I'll highlight some of that plan tonight.
Beneath the fold, we'll delve into the following stories:
- Teach Your Children Well: The Edwards Education Plan
- Campaign Manager David Bonior on Hardball
- Breaking News: Bush May Have Misused the DOJ AGAIN
- Celebrating OneWebDay with the Edwards Campaign
Teach Your Children Well: the Edwards Education Plan
Yesterday, John Edwards introduced his plan for restoring the promise of America's schools. The plan includes several promising components designed to improve public schools, recruit excellent teachers and compensate them well, and create equal educational opportunity for low income students. Tonight we'll look at just a few provisions of the plan.
One thing I particularly like about his plan is the focus on providing affordable universal preschool education, so that kids in low income and middle income families get the educational start that they need. I found this statistic quoted in the plan quite startling:
Half of the achievement gap between children from poor families and their more fortunate peers exists before they start school.
That really says something about the importance of preschool education, doesn't it?
I'm glad that Edwards plans to provide universal preschool education for four-year-olds whose families want it. It would be affordable, because tuition would be on a sliding scale basis and would be waived for low income families. In addition to giving kids a good start on their education, and helping them in their early development, one thing that I notice that isn't specifically stated in the plan is that this will help low income single parents to be able to work more hours while their children are young.
The Edwards plan would also create a national teacher University to better prepare teachers for their careers. It would create incentives for teachers to work in high poverty schools that currently have trouble attracting good teachers. These are just a few of the educational improvements his plan would make. I am really only highlighting a very few aspects of a complex plan. I really encourage you to read the full plan on his website.
Another thing I really like about the plan is to focus on overhauling No Child Left Behind and replacing the standardized tests, which every parent and teacher I know complains about, with better quality ways to assess educational development. I like that the plan specifically mentions teaching advanced thinking skills, such as creativity and analytic thinking, and finding ways to measure development of these skills that include open-ended essays, oral exams, and projects and experiments. It has really been a pet peeve of mine for quite some time that schools do not seem to teach critical thinking skills. Focusing our educational efforts on those skills will have the added benefit of creating a more intelligent population able to question what they are told, which can only improve our democratic process.
On the Ed Schultz show yesterday, Edwards talked about his education plan.
Campaign Manager David Bonior on Hardball
Check out this clip of David Bonior, John Edwards's campaign manager, discussing Hillary Clinton taking money from lobbyists with Chris Matthews. I'm so glad that the Edwards campaign is taking on the corruption in Washington.
Breaking News: Bush May Have Misused the DOJ AGAIN
It's been no secret for quite some time now that under the Bush administration, the Department of Justice has become the Department of Injustice. Breaking news by Harper's Magazine contributor Scott Horton shows that the Bush administration may have used the Department of Justice to conduct politically motivated investigations into campaign donations given to then likely Democratic candidates John Edwards and Hillary Clinton as early as 2001.
In the last two weeks, two sources, one of them inside of the Justice Department, have told me that a scheme was hatched in the upper echelons of the Bush Administration shortly after it took office in 2001 or early in 2002. The project identified John Edwards and Hillary Clinton as likely Democratic challengers to President Bush, and identified prominent trial lawyers around the United States as the likely financial vehicle for Edward's rise. It directed that their campaign finance records be fly-specked, and that offenses not be treated as administrative matters but rather as serious criminal offenses.
The scheme contemplated among other things that raids be staged on the law offices involved, and that the records seized not be limited to campaign finance--there was an acute interest in all politically oriented documents, in order to seize valuable intelligence on strategic planning from the enemy camp.
This was brought to our attention today by a recommended diary on Daily Kos by Mal Contends.
Another Kossack, Lefty Coaster, had this to say:
Compared to this Watergate was small time (31+ / 0-)
Under Nixon the DOJ didn't do the Watergate Break-in.
When I saw this, I was not surprised. I remembered seeing a Detroit News article about a month ago about one of these politically motivated investigations. In that case, the indictment against a former Edwards donor "coincidentally" was unsealed the day after John Edwards gave his famous End the Game speech about cleaning up lobbyist influence in Washington, a speech for which he was getting a fair amount of good press at the time.
This case is an old one from the 2004 election cycle in which the Edwards campaign was cleared of any wrongdoing, so the timing and the apparent attempt to whip this up into some sort of scandal again seemed rather odd.
Although the article in Harper's mentions both Clinton and Edwards, the Bush administration's politically motivated investigations seem to have been focused on cutting off the base of funding for the Edwards campaign.
It is hardly surprising that the most corrupt administration in American history uses the Department of Justice as a political tool. I can't wait to get a president that understands and will uphold the rule of law.
Since we are on the subject of campaign financing, and it is getting close to the end of the quarter, now that you know that the Bush administration has tried to cut off funding for the Edwards campaign, care to help remedy that situation?
Celebrating OneWebDay with the Edwards Campaign
Tracy Russo, the blogger outreach person for the Edwards campaign, posted a great blog today on the Edwards blog about OneWebDay. In it, I was pleased to read about some of John Edwards's ideas for creating universal internet access for all.
And while we celebrate OneWebDay, we must also acknowledge the challenges we face. There is a growing digital divide in America. While half of urban and suburban households have broadband, less than a third of rural homes do. African Americans are 25 percent less likely to have internet access at home than whites.
That is why John Edwards has said the starting place is to set a goal of giving all U.S. homes and businesses access to real high-speed internet by 2010. He will establish a national broadband map to identify gaps in availability, price, and speed; create public-private partnerships to promote deployment; require providers not to discriminate against rural and low-income areas and to improve accessibility for people with disabilities; support and expand the e-rate program; encourage local service providers and municipal wireless projects, and use the newly available 700 megahertz spectrum and broadcast television white space to support wireless networks that can connect with all digital devices.
Furthermore, John Edwards believes America must preserve the uniquely democratic nature of the Internet, which has allowed regular people to contribute on equal footing with big businesses and organizations. As president, he will ensure that the FCC preserves free expression and competition on the Internet by continuing to enforce net neutrality ensuring no degradation or blocking of access to websites.
If you have stories about your experience with the online outreach of the Edwards campaign, I'm sure Tracy would love to hear from you.
Tags: 2008 elections, Chris Matthews, David Bonior, Department of Justice, Education, Edwards Evening News, ers, George Bush, Hardball, Internet, John Edwards, net neutrality, onewebday, president, Primaries, public schools, teach, Technology, Trial lawyers (all tags)