ED In ’10?

In today’s WSJ Gerald Seib sees an opportunity for education to emerge as a bipartisan progress point in 2010.   I, too, don’t think it’s out of the question that something could be accomplished but it’s going to take a real investment of capital by the President.  That was the topic of a column I did in USN this past November.  It’s challenging because while Seib sees bipartisanship on education, that may be through rose colored glasses given the landscape right now.  Anything that is truly meaningful will necessarily be bipartisan because it loses votes on both ends of the political spectrum.  Education reform still splits Democrats and the interest groups are not happy about the Race to the Top status quo right now.  And it’s still unclear who among Hill Republicans will emerge as leaders willing to make a deal with Democrats to get something done.    Finally, the midterm election looms large and not necessarily in a helpful way at all.

Also, in Politics Daily Sandra Fish takes a look at the Michael Bennet race in Colorado and the implications of the retirement-fest the other day.   Bennet could benefit from a stronger candidate at the top of the ticket but this seems unlikely to change the fundamental dynamics he faces:  Tough primary, tough general election.  That too has education implications not only because Bennet’s an outstanding leader on the issue but also because, per the above, that means Republicans are unlikely to do things that help him this year.

3 Replies to “ED In ’10?”

  1. The major stakeholders in education ( parents, teachers and students), are not happy with Race to the Top. President Obama talked about authentic reforms before his election and that’s what many of us want to see. To me that means supports for parents and children, health care for all children, highly qualified teachers, preschool, full-service community schools and other substantive reforms. Test prep, test gaming and charter “entrepreneurs” (God help us) aren’t going to accomplish much and could actually weaken our already struggling public school system. “When the largest stakeholders in any endeavor are seen as the opposition, you will fail.”

    On a more positive note, I love President Obama’s TV ad: “Take time to be a dad.” Now we’re talking substance!

  2. Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen:
    “What do you think?” the senator asked.

    Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.

    “I’m thinking about the current health care debate, “I said. “And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.”

    The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone’s attention.

    “I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.”

  3. Following up on both of your points, the link illustrates the logic of why “some Democrats think a more winning issue in 2010 is education.” They need to “Find an issue that is popular in the political middle. … that isn’t likely to be the proposed climate-change legislation that would launch a giant new cap-and-trade system. The reason to push NCLB reauthorization is “after health care, cap-and-trade likely will simply feel risky to a middle America …”

    If “reformers” actually cared about improving education – as opposed to political posturing, wouldn’t they listen to educators?

    Their lack of curiosity about teaching and learning helps explain the real motivation. “Reformers” like to use the word “accountability.” When pressed on the failure of NCLB, the answer is that the accountability of NCLB II will get it right. Now, the divisiveness of the RttT is supposed to bring us together for a new, though renamed, law that will increase scorched earth politics, but do so without mentioning the words “health insurance” and “cap and trade.”

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