Where Clinton, Obama, and McCain Stand on Education

Campaign 2008.

By + More



No Child Left Behind

"We can do better than No Child Left Behind. This law is not working for our teachers, our parents, and, most importantly, our kids."

Clinton has vowed to end NCLB and create a system that focuses on individual students' academic growth.

"[Teachers] feel betrayed and frustrated by No Child Left Behind. We shouldn't reauthorize it without changing it fundamentally. We left the money behind for [nclb]."

Obama would improve the tests and offer more support to schools that need help.

"No Child Left Behind was a good beginning. We now, after a number of years of examination and practice with it, know there's some things that badly need fixing."

McCain would consider changing the testing requirements for some students.

Teacher Pay

"We have a teacher shortage because we have a respect shortage. I believe we need to raise base teacher pay and provide...incentives for teachers who teach in high-need schools."

Clinton supports schoolwide performance-based pay.

"We can find new ways to increase pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them and not based on some arbitrary test score. That's how we're going to close the achievement gap."

Obama supports pay based on individual teacher performance.

"Choice and competition is the key to success in education in America. That means...rewarding good teachers and finding bad teachers another line of work."

McCain supports merit pay for individual teachers.

Higher Education Affordability

"[Borrowers] are overly burdened...as they repay their student loans.... Student loan debt alone can put people in economic handcuffs and force them out of important but low-paying professions."

Clinton would create a $3,500 tax credit for tuition costs.

"Putting a college education within reach of every American is the best investment we can make in our future. I'll create a new and fully refundable tax credit."

Obama would create a $4,000 tax credit to cover the costs of college tuition.

"We will draw on the great strengths of America's community colleges, applying the funds from federal training accounts to give displaced workers of every age a fresh start."

McCain has not revealed the details of his plans.