McCain on Education

Strolling through John McCain's policy proposals is a fascinating experience . . . lurking behind every link is a nearly-astounding level of vacuity. Take education where McCain promises that:

John McCain will place parents and children at the center of the education process, empowering parents by greatly expanding the ability of parents to choose among schools for their children. He believes all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing schools.

Now at first I thought this was McCain committing himself to the proposition that each and every state would need to choose between voucherizing its school system and losing all federal funding. But then I checked around and it turns out that on another reading, this is nothing more than what No Child Left Behind already requires. So basically on school choice McCain is either proposing the most extreme pro-vouchers proposal available to the federal government, or else he's proposing to continue the status quo absolutely. Or maybe something in between! You'd think that with 25 years in congress under his belt, McCain might have formed some kind of opinions about federal education policy, but it seems not.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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