Republicans: Less federal government and more privatization. Republican candidates tend to offer qualified support for President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind (nclb) education plan, while calling for more local control and flexibility. The original nclb, they argue, gave the Federal Government too much power. Rudy Giuliani is among the most vocal advocates for privatization and school choiceproviding vouchers for private and parochial as well as charter schools.
Democrats: Don't leave the money behind for fixing our schools. Though nclb passed in 2001 with broad bipartisan support, almost all Democrats now agree it is underfunded and in need of major reform. Democrats would overhaul nclb to ensure that schools are not punished for under-whelming performance. But they struggle to determine exactly how to require accountability. Most argue that educational progress should be measured differently and that there is too much emphasis on tests. Increasing access to prekindergarten programs and investing more in public education continue to be priorities.