Politics Alert! The last question of the last debate: Education

If anybody made it through the entire debate last night you got to see the candidates face off on education! Here is one quote from Obama (emphasis mine):

"I think it's going to be critically important for us to recruit a generation of new teachers, an army of new teachers, especially in math and science, give them higher pay, give them more professional development and support in exchange for higher standards and accountability."

In general, McCain is coming out very strong for reform and for vouchers. Obama is keeping his focus on Charter schools and pay-for-performance for teachers (not a Union-approved position). Neither of the candidates has made education much of a focus over the last few months, so it was good to see them talk about our educational system on their feet, if even just for a few minutes.

While it's important to understand their full platform (Obama on Education vs. McCain on Education) it is useful to see them boil it down to high-level talking points. So in the spirit of boiling it down, we've taken it a step farther and deconstructed both candidates' time spent talking about education into a tag cloud. The bigger the words, the more frequently they were mentioned. A complete transcript and video of the debate is located here .

Be warned, there is probably absolutely nothing that we can concretely glean from these few minutes of political maneuvering, but it is interesting nonetheless. If the current polls hold, Obama will be the next president, which means good things for teachers.

As a bonus and some reference, here are some word clouds of older debates where a question was asked about education:

So what do you think? Does any of this give us a glimpse into what's coming for the next four to eight years? Who are you voting for? Is their stance on education a deciding factor?

See you at the polls!

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