National News

News Journal, August 4, 2008

Obama and McCain Speak of Their Support for Public Chartering

Last week at the 2008 National Urban League Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain both spoke of their support for public charter schools.

McCain said that the culture of public education is broken in urban areas and must be fixed. He praised several education reformers who support public chartering, including NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, and Chancellor Michelle Rhee of Washington. In a question and answer forum, McCain parried with a questioner who questioned the value of public charter schools. He responded that public chartering in New Orleans has been a success. "Those charter schools are succeeding. That's just a fact."

Obama spoke of his long-time support of public charter schools. He said he wants to give families more public education options, including more public charters, but he said he will not support vouchers for children to attend private and parochial schools.

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