My short take on the speech is up over at The Times. The education passages didn’t have a lot of substance but they did have some interesting signals. Here’s a bit of backstory on Bruce Randolph, the school Obama singled out. Fascinating choice…
Update II: One other aspect of this I didn’t get to in the NYT reax item is prospects for more Race to the Top funding in the new Congress. On the one hand, by calling it the most meaningful education reform in a generation the President doesn’t really give Republicans in the House much of an incentive to hand him a victory on it. On the other, in general if a president really wants something like this they can get it if they’re willing to push and/or trade enough. The education insiders I survey for Whiteboard generally think that any future funding will be quite modest and it is unclear tonight how last night’s speech changed that.
Update III: More Bruce Randolph via Denver Post. Just a few years out it’s easy to forget how contentious this fight was in the district and in the state legislature over the law allowing schools to do this statewide. The teachers union fought this one hard in both venues. Overlooked story angle? A black swan? How many schools in CO have subsequently done this?
Update V: John Merrow with his thoughts on the Bruce Randolph angle and NPR takes a deeper look at the school itself. Also, a round-up of takes from Flypaper. And they’re debating the speech at the NYT.