June 28, 2008

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During a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials John McCain is asked what he would do to insure that all working and middle class Americans can realize the American dream of home ownership in an era of skyrocketing foreclosures and predatory sub-prime loan programs. For reasons that presumably make sense to him, he launches into a discussion of NCLB and education funding, holding up New York City and New Orleans as examples of Republican success stories in education. Successes, really? Talk about being McOut of Touch.

Your question comes to the heart of what Americans are sitting around the kitchen table tonight and saying "how are we going to afford our home loan mortgage payment," some of...many hundreds of thousands have suddenly and recently lost their jobs. Owning one's own home is part of the American dream. I made a proposal that people who are primary owners of primary residence can go down and get a FHA-guaranteed loan, a 30 year loan that's guaranteed by the FHA at the new value of their home, so they'd be able to make their payments. Now the legislation that was winding its way through the Congress and unfortunately, again, did not pass before the United States Senate went out of session. Again, incredible that Congress should go on vacation while Americans are trying to stay in their homes. That's why...I mean, they also re-authorized No Child Left Behind, with the lessons we learned in the intervening years since we passed it, in a bi-partisan fashion, I would fully fund those programs that have never been fully funded. But let me also say to you: choice and competition. I believe that every family in America should have the same choice that Cindy and I did. We chose to send our children to a Catholic school. That was because we were able to do so. So I believe that charter schools work. I believe that they're not much better than public education, but they provide competition. There are two examples I'd like to mention very briefly: New York City and New Orleans. If you missed it, there is now a dramatic uptick in the performance of school children in New York City, a place where a lot of experts thought there would never be improvement. We ought to go up there and see what Mr. Klein and Mayor Bloomberg and others have done and dedicated educators have done in New York City. New Orleans, they had to start at square one, as you know. There are now 30 charter schools in the city of New Orleans. Anyone will tell you that they're starting to see a dramatic improvement in the quality of education in the city of New Orleans. My friends, choice and competition, reward the teachers, God bless them, find bad teachers another line of work. Choice and competition.

I'll bet Mr. "Choice and Competition" has never seen this documentary.

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