Reporter Applause-o-Meter at VEA Forum

Friday, April 24, 2009

I searched the news clips this morning for the word "applause" and here's what I got:

*"In a fiery opening statement that drew frequent applause, McAuliffe said half of the inmates in Virginia prisons are high school dropouts. He said he would emphasize pre-kindergarten education to improve reading skills so there would be fewer dropouts." (Tyler Whitley - Richmond Times Dispatch)

"McAuliffe drew perhaps the loudest applause of the evening when he spoke about his plan to provide college loan forgiveness and other incentives to teachers who agree to work in high need areas." (Julian Walker - The Virginian-Pilot)

The most audacious claims - and the wildest applause - was a lengthy riff of promises by McAuliffe that included eradicating childhood illiteracy to providing cut-rate loans that teachers can use to buy cars and pay mortgages.

He proposed beefing up state revenue for teacher pay raises by revving up the state's economy.

"I don't believe that a down economy is when you cut education. I believe a down economy is when you put more money in education," he said. "Determine now many children don't pass the third-grade reading proficiency exam and with that number, we determine how many prison beds we'll need in 15 years."
(Bob Lewis - AP)

"Deeds drew applause when, speaking about his support for increased education funding, said, the truth is we have a better system than we deserve and we have a better system then we pay for. I thank you for that." (Julian Walker - The Virginian Pilot)

"You can't expect excellence if you're not willing to pay for average," Deeds said, bringing loud applause from the audience of about 650 teachers and administrative personnel. (Tyler Whitley - Richmond Times Dispatch)

"McDonnell drew applause when he said he would work to decrease the administrative load of teachers." (Tyler Whitley - Richmond Times Dispatch)

That's right, reporters noted applause last night at the Virginia Education Association forum for every gubernatorial candidate - Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, even our old pal and friend of education (not!!!) Bob McDonnell - except for one. Perhaps that's the answer to the Daily Press blog's question, "who is going to stand up in front of a crowded room full of teachers and go negative on an opponent?" I'll give you one guess (hint: think of which campaign has been the most relentlessly negative and you've got your answer).

P.S. Thanks to Vivian Paige for the photo above.