This is an excellent summary of what’s wrong with the Obama education policies. Please read. Send it to the White House.
I think he’ll give it as much consideration as he gave the letters he got a couple of weeks ago. Why should he change course? A lot of teachers openly said they would vote for him no matter how bad his education policy is. And then there are the NEA and AFT, which will support him no matter how many teachers are unjustly fired due to RTTT. He’s in a comfortable position now. No need to change a thing.
Sadly, I agree. The nation has just affirmed Obama’s presidency. We need to somehow put pressure on him to change course.
He is for the Corporations and the elite, period. Who funded him? Follow the money.
That’s it in a nutshell. People voted for him because he is Obama, the wonderful, or because he is a Democrat. When we refuse to think before we vote, we get what we deserve.
Guest, sadly, this is true.
I get it that the President was the better of two awful choices on education. But teachers should have forced Obama into concession for support instead of offering it to him, in the case of the NEA in 2011, so so early. A political mistake, and now that he’s lame duck, there is ZERO incentive to scrap what he thinks is working to start over. He needs legacy accomplishments. “fixing” schools his way is one he will not abandon.
He wasn’t the better; he was actually the worse of the two. With Romney at least the Democrats would put up a fight, but they won’t with this utter fraud.
I voted third party, Rocky Anderson to be exact. The Democratic Party risks a permanent split if and when Obama continues with his reckless attempts to destroy the country via school privatization and the dismantling of the New Deal and Great Society.
I also voted third party.
Somebody needs to organize a Million Teachers and Parents March on Washington! Bring the children too! The more the merrier! I bet he’ll pay attention then! A totally grassroots effort! July 4 th weekend…Independece from RTTT!!!
Fantastic idea! I will be there with my wife and kids.
Not to mention Obama’s intentions regarding Social Security and Medicare. These two programs are the crown jewels of the Democratic party and yet Obama is willing to reach across the aisle to put a knife in the backs of these two crucial programs. Will he pick Erskine Bowles to be the new secretary of the treasury? Bowles, the guy who said that it’s time to mess with Social Security and the co-chair of the Cat Food Commission. Other possibilities for treasury secretary are Jack Lew and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. Folks, we have to raise a big stink about not only Obama’s educational policies but also his grand bargain to weaken SS and Medicare.
It will be the end of the Democratic Party if he does it. He’s been pretty much exposed as a Manchurian candidate for the GOP and financial elites. I wouldn’t be surprised if his rapid rise to the White House was an attempt to kill the party from within. Nobody has to rig presidential elections anymore.
Erskine Bowles was also mentioned for Treasury in the article by Lynn Sweet, as cited below.
And that connection to cat food–depletion of S.S. benefits would certainly enhance THAT industry!
I think Medicare was already weakened before President Obama took office. But my main concern is about his educational policies.
Do you remember what happened when Bush tried to privatize Social Security? Have you seen the reaction to the Republican idea to voucherize Medicare? People get up in arms when the Republicans suggest such things.
On the other hand, Obama has suggested various “reforms” to both Medicare and Social Security with nary a peep from “liberals”. I don’t know how “weakened” either one was before, but Obama is in the best position ever to destroy both.
Medicare is pretty messy. I have aging parents (both retired educators), and it’s messy dealing with different insurance companies that are now involved with Medicare and doctors’ offices as well.
There will need to be changes in both programs. Roughly speaking we will have to double tax revenue supporting each program or cut benefits in half or more likely a combination of the two.
How about we extend the Social Security payroll tax to income over $250,000. Currently, workers pay the tax on the first $110,000 in income. Everything above that threshold remains untouched.
Removing that cap entirely while leaving benefit levels the same could ensure Social Security’s solvency for the next 75 years.
Removing the ceiling has often been suggested as part of the solution, but it does only get us part of the way there. You might also want to broaden the tax tax base by including other forms of income. I don’t think just lifting the cap will get us to solvency over the next 75 years, but I will take a look at the studies.
The CBO estimates done in 2010 are that this change by itself would extend social security solvency to 2083.
In yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times, Lynn Sweet’s article, “Valerie Jarrett for Chief of Staff? Possible shake-ups in 2nd term” contained the following:
“Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former Chicago schools chief, wants to
stay–and there is no plan for a change.”
Can we get Matt Damon back out there to rattle his cage?
Seriously, it’s time for a million-person march–parents, students, teachers, administrators, communities. So much was accomplished state-by-state on November 6th–we can push back nationally.
Camins: Reformers have become so enamored by their own ideology and so invested in their own course of action that they are unable to recognize the evidence that challenges their policies and unable to recognize the damage it is causing to students.
Wouldn’t a bibliography of evidence (preferably annotated) be a good starting point for evidence-based practice? Camins’ critique of reformers echoes Bestors’ critique of ed school faculty.
Is no branch of government interested in having sound evidence placed before it?
Eric. Well put. President Obama, please look at the evidence since we are in a data driven society. What does not work is exactly what you are proposing. The issues with education go way beyond the educational system. Children need to love learning. Testing turns them off of learning. Please listen. I believe in accountability, but this is too detrimental to the children’s educational and emotional growth.
I don’t think today’s leaders are interested in education reform. In a recent interview for NBC’s “Education Nation” President Obama said, “You know, I’m a big proponent of charter schools, for example. I think that pay-for-performance makes sense in some situations.” I hate to be cynical, but I believe this is hogwash. Today, there is a movement fueled by hedge fund managers to privatize public education, not to reform it. In an era where capital is frantically searching for profitable enterprises, education is a huge plum. We will never be able to “reform” public education to suit this crowd; in the name of reform they seek to suck it dry. I live in Detroit and I see this first hand.
Obama went even further than that. He outright lied by saying that teachers in Denver were “embracing” merit pay.
Diane, thanks to you and Valerie Strauss for posting my article. The main point is to organize, speak in ways that resonate with people and undermine the market-based reform narrative. But… will Obama read this? The White House probably gets tens of thousand of daily emails, and good as they are, they may not be reading your blog or the Answer Sheet. So, who gets to and has the courage whisper in the Obama’s ear, “Here, this is one you should really read?” Anyone know?
Thanks, Arthur, for a great piece. We will build a mass movement so large and so vocal and so well-informed that even President Obama will hear us. And your article helps build the public understanding that is needed.
I don’t trust Obama or the DEMs and the REPs. They are the same party. One is just crazier than the other, in different ways. Obama is a turn coat. Watch him. He can’t even fulfill his promise to uphold our Constitution. Romney would not be any better.
I think that that exists in Koretz’s Measuring Up and Ms. Ravitch’s Life and Death. Throw in a dash of Mike Rose’s Why School? and you have a powerful Sweet and Below the belt punch to Reform data.
What I wonder about is what foundations, think tanks and millionaires/billionaires can we draw on? Matt Damon and Jon Stewart’s pockets are only so deep. I had the good fortune to work with Stewart’s mom, Marion Liebowitz, years ago as she was part of a group of people brought in to work at our little school on the East side of Houston along with Art Acosta and Bena Kalick. Surely they can be a part of this.
If Stewart can run regular segments like the Brooklyn Castle one he did last night, what could we achieve? The student’s statements were so simple and carried such power. If the thousands of students that would echo his sentiments could be given some forum, what changes could we make from test prep to life connections?
In the PBS Frontline Dropout Nation program aired about a month ago, the four students profiled at Sharpstown HS here in Houston made telling statements that spoke volumes. Apollo 20 (longer year, longer day, tutors, data rooms, benchmarking, etc.) was highlighted, but all the kids expressed how detached they were from school. Either they found it boring or they were there for sports in one case. One segment where the administrators try to convince a late student into the SAT’s was dramatic as he clearly did not want to go and walked off campus. The lack of variety and texture in the reform model is a disservice to our diverse intellectual community. And it just plain ticks and turns people off.
One thing about that program is that they never interviewed a classroom teacher or a tutor, showed a regular class or an after school tutoring session with one of the Apollo Fellows as the tutors are called. Funny that.
I’m calling Jon Stewart now.
Here’s an idea. If politics is really like a gigantic game of power and money then education i just a pawn in the game. Perhaps taxes will go up and the loop holes will be tightened but by allowing the uber rich the legal path of making a handsome profit on education through charter schools, extending technology and so on, they won’t feel the pinch as much. I can’t think of any other reason for what is going on. I makes no sense that the uber rich would spend the amount of money that has been flying around “for the kids” in a philanthropic disguise through the new ways of anonymous donations without any expectation of return. We have been trained to look for facts and to use evidence based techniques. Our attack has been on the wrong cause. Just like we believe that poverty has a lot to do with student achievement and that making teachers accountable for student achievement despite factors beyond our locus of control, then too the driver for ignoring the facts and pushing for charter school has to be power and greed. Has there ever been a school of any type that has developed a formula for saving money and then gave it back to the taxpayers? Charter schools are allowed to make a profit, right?
We might not ever hear about the grand design of give and take. It’s isn’t transparent but with all that is going on not making much sense, this is my conclusion. We have to get the debt under control. We have to educate students. So under the guise of taking away from the rich, they will allow it if they can make it up in another way.
What can the president do with so much of the game for both parties controlled by big money?
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