An article in the Connecticut Post says that “Teachers Are Confused for Good Reason.”
The bottom line:
“If Democrats continue with their right-wing conservative educational policies, they will alienate the teachers and teacher unions that have traditionally been the party’s staunchest supporters. More importantly, these misguided policies and initiatives will deal a severe blow to public education and to the quality of the teaching profession as well as to the morale of our teachers. You cannot on one hand preach about the importance of teachers while implementing educational policies that are destroying public education in this country.”
It is indeed confusing and demoralizing to realize that Democrats have adopted Republican education policies of testing, accountability, privatization, and competition. No one expected that Barack Obama would abandon the party’s historic support of public education and equity. He has.
The Democrats–at least those in control of the party in Washington–have turned their backs on the unions, and most especially the teachers’ unions, which represent more than three million teachers. Since teachers have families, that represents many millions of votes.
President Obama is fortunate to be running against an extremist candidate, because had the Republicans put forward a moderate person (are there any left in today’s Republican party), teachers would be voting for him or her.
As I earlier stated unequivocally, I will vote for Obama, but it won’t be because of his disastrous rightwing education policies. Race to the Top is worse than No Child Left Behind. It takes the assumptions of NCLB (testing will fix everything) and applies them to teachers. Teachers will be fired, schools will be closed, and no problem will be solved.
I will vote for Obama because I fear the far-rightwing of the GOP. They will attempt to destroy public education, without delay or apology. And they will do the same to other social programs as well.
With Obama, there is some hope that he might change his mind once re-elected. There is some hope that he will no longer need the Wall Street hedge fund managers whose funds helped elect him and who demand testing and charters (but not for their children!). There is some hope that he will change course. There is some hope that other Democrats will hear the voices of parents and teachers and recognize that Democrats need their own education policies, not those of George W. Bush and Bill Gates.
With Romney, there is none. As his wife proudly boasted, it’s time to “throw out” the public education system.
No, it’s not.