October 4th, 2007
04:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Biden: Fix 'No Child' law, but not 'til I'm president

Biden outlined his education plan in Des Moines Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Vowing that he would be "the" education president "unlike any president has in American history," Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, offered up his ideas for education reform Thursday, which include plans to overhaul the No Child Left Behind law, but, he says, not until he's in the Oval Office.

"I would prefer the Democrats not try to fix No Child Left Behind...until I'm president," the Democratic hopeful said. "I'm not being facetious. I mean that seriously."

Biden said he believes in waiting because he says NCLB couldn't be completely fixed during the current administration. Instead, he'd rather see it "tinkered with" for now so that he can be a part of a "wholesale re-do from the White House."

In remarks delivered to an audience of mostly students and reporters at a Des Moines high school, Biden praised one of the premises of NCLB–measuring success–but said the plan should also "promote success." He also criticized it for being poorly funded.

In addition to NCLB reform, Biden's $30 billion plan would also include provisions to raise teacher pay to at least $45,000 a year and reduce class sizes by hiring 100,000 new teachers. He also said he would turn the current 12-year school system into one with 16 years by adding two years of pre-school and "making sure students can afford at least two years of higher education."

Biden says he'd pay for the plan by eliminating tax cuts on the wealthiest one percent of Americans and by ending the war in order to use the money the nation is currently spending in Iraq.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • Joe Biden
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Sybil,ny

    Joe Biden is a good Democrat. But, I am voting for Hillary because if I don't then I will be taking a vote away from Hillary and the Republicans will sneak in.

    October 4, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. jim, austin, tx

    as much as i dont like the current dems, and i really dont like them, i really hate NCLB all it does is leave children behind especially if they have a learning disability. NCLB will ensure we have good test takers in the future. congrats bush.

    October 4, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Paul, Dallas TX

    The No Child Left Behind Law is seriously flawed. That's whats wrong with our education system today. When I was growing up, if you didn't mean the standards, you failed. You had to repeat the grade. Now, rather than failing one child, they are lowering the learning requirments for everyone else. How can we expect our children to grow up and become someone if we are not forcing them to think as children. Not everything is just handed to you. I am a 29 year old white male college student. I am considered a minority in the school I attend. Even colleges have lowered their expectations. Several students in my English Composition classes do not do the assignments and the teachers are forced to accept late papers. Whatever happened to if you don't do it, you fail. It's simple. Millions of people graduated high school and college prior to the NCLB law. Many more will in the future. Let's get rid of it.

    October 4, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I will ensure better education by pandering to the teachers union!! Show me one study that shows that raising ALL teachers salaries is helping education – show me a study that says that smaller classroom sizes equal a better education. A fun book to read is call "The Worm in the Apple – How Teachers Unions are destroying American Education" – look it up – enough with the liberal pandering to the unions....the union rejects all reforms – keep in mind – they are a national labor union...out for their membership...not for our children.

    October 4, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Theresa Jones

    Just one more politician willing to ignore our Constitution and do whatever he wants. The federal government has no power to legislate and/or regulate education. If they would mind their own business, our children would not be limited to memorizing answers to tests.

    October 4, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    Hiring 100,000 new teachers is sort of like opening up 10 new expansion teams in a given sport. Sure you've got more, but you dilute the talent pool enough that the game as a whole suffers. We already have plenty of incompetant teachers in the system. That should tell us the real need here is for quality, not quantity.

    Conversely, we could alway shoot for a law that says in January instead of teaching irrelevant ethnic history that has no bearing on the world outside the US we would sit the kids down with a map of the world for a month. Maybe then we might have some high school graduates who can locate Iraq on a map.

    October 4, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Education needs to be competitive and ALL parents deserve to be given a choice which school their kids go to (not just the rich).

    Vouchers give Parents and Students this power and removes it from the Unions. Is it no wonder the Unions were so set against it? And pandering Democrats refused to support vouchers in spite of the overwhelming evidence that inner-city kids would have the greatest benefit.

    Unions over inner-city kids.

    Why not? Unions give millions of dollars and African Americans (regardless of issues) vote 90% for democrats.

    October 4, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. spinstopper

    Our education system is the failure it is exactly because of the 40 straight yrs Dems controled Congress. Its a sad day when we talk about fixing education out of one mouth while talking about increasing H1B permits for foreign engineers out of the other.

    Great career you've had there Joe, hope you enjoy that life long paycheck with full healthcare benefits..

    October 4, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Janet Berend, Seattle, WA.

    The problem with many kids today, is that they have not been taught the
    "3 R's" No child will ever achieve until he has learned the fundamentals of learning. It takes the "3 R's" to do that. When I read some of these comments, many poorly written, they must be from those who were never properly taught "readin' and writin' and 'rithmetic. These are the basics for education when properly taught, which will not leave any child behind.

    October 5, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  10. Bill Y.

    The teachers union needs to be accountable for results. Because schools do not compete for students, the level of education has gone down. Competitive markets increase quality and bring the cost down. We need school vochers! Someone stated that if they vote for Joe Biden, they will be taking votes away from the Democrates and the republicans will win. obviously this person has never voted. See in a primary you as a democrat can vote for any one in your party. then your party selects a winner. Then the winners of the two parties run against each other. The only way for a person to steal votes is if they run as a third party (Ross Perot is a good example). So please, in the primary vore for BIDEN. then if another democrat wins the primary, you can vote for that person in the general election. This is why our elected leaders are not what we want....People do not even have a clue about the system.

    October 6, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |