McCain says some nice things about Education when asked, but it's not even listed on his website and his voting record shows little to no support. I don't think education and funding should be left up to the states alone.
Obama and Hillary have almost the opposite voting record from McCain.
However, Obama's plan for the future is more focused on step by step changes to fix errors (i.e. giving funding to education), rather than start over with a few ideas of goals that lack focus on the big picture and focus on a few groups of children [Clinton.]
As for funding, neither Obama or Clinton plan to give further funding to NASA - one of the most important research institutions in the country, besides the Department of Defense. However, Obama plans to delay funding for manned space flight by 5 years and use that funding for education. Granted this money could come from elsewhere for those space lovers, but the technology for manned spaceflight to innovate is still in the working, 5 years will make little difference, and I believe manned spaceflight funding is too controversial and would be easy to procure for helping improve our schools international standing - which improves our economic situation.
U.S. Jobs (I'm an engineer, so cut me some slack if you disagree)
From what I've seen as a manufacturing and design engineer we will not get back our manufacturing jobs because of any president's economic policy. Yes, it is cheaper to manufacture in China and India - there are no costs for things like health care and environmental regulations. However, that's not the only reason our manufacturing jobs moved. The internet is one, globalization of and new emerging markets is another, the superior math and science education (believe me, it's obvious when you meet foreigners in grad school and see how many of them get accepted to our top colleges) is very important [i've heard straight from managers that the Indians are just plain better hires], and the improving technology in these foreign countries. Manufacturing in the United States is automated - soon it will be robots all over the world. We're not getting those jobs. What we're going to do - is lose our research and development edge. Our doctors, our lawyers, our finance, our business, our universities, our design, research and development jobs are all we have left - and if everyone keeps thinking that stimulus packages, taxing companies for money that they make in foreign countries that never gets repatriated, and manufacturing jobs are going to save us.. we're going to lose.
Therefore: vote Obama. Because he is just as capable of making short term economic decisions, but he is the only one whose plans and speeches consistently address the competitive and pivotal edge that education gives us right now.
Obama has shown consistently throughout the debates and campaign that you cannot bring him down. No petty bickering gets him excited or removes his focus from the main issues and goals.
They're all good. Clinton and Obama get thoughtful plans points. McCain gets good ideas points and previously anti-ethanol points.
A COMPARATIVE CHART
To be quite honest, I like nuclear plants.
McCain: Nuclear, clean coal, cap and trade, no gov't subsidies for ethanol.
Obama: Thinks Nuclear is necessary. Cap and Trade System. Biofuels. (Latest CAFE is 35mpg by 2020 - I believe can do that now. The Honda civic gets 30mpg and hybrids get 60. You get back the extra money on a hybrid in 2 years. It would take maybe 5 years to change the fleet if they had to. GM has a car that gets 100mpg (though expensive) - people just improve aerodynamics on their cars and get that. But it's ugly - they need an industrial designer.)
Clinton: Not as happy about Nuclear. Cap and Trade. Biofuels.