John Boehner – Education’s Man In The Middle

In this week’s School of Thought column at TIME I look at what John Boehner thinks about education policy. Actually, that’s not as important as what he might be able to get done given the caucus he’ll be leading and the environment in Washington, so I look at that:

What do Tuesday’s election results mean for education reform? Kentucky’s Rand Paul is among the newly elected candidates who want to dismantle the Department of Education. That won’t happen, but what lies ahead for our students and teachers? Right now all eyes are on John Boehner, the Ohio Republican expected to become Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January. A seasoned negotiator who in the past has succeeded in passing education laws, he could hold sway over policymaking in Washington. But in many ways, his views about education matter less than the question of what he can accomplish given the fractious caucus he will be leading.

Read the whole thing here.

5 Replies to “John Boehner – Education’s Man In The Middle”

  1. In June 1995, Boehner distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies. Boehner eventually led the effort to change House rules and prohibit campaign contributions from being distributed on the House floor

  2. Really helpful piece on Boehner and what he’ll be facing, Andy. A lot of us outside the beltway are trying to read the tea leaves in terms of what these shifts are going to mean for the reauthorization of ESEA, future funding for things like early childhood education or low performing schools, so please keep the analysis coming.

  3. Where do you think Boehner stands on teacher quality, and more important, policies to improve the quality of teaching rather than to simply dismiss teachers viewed as offering poor instruction? How about the rest of the new Congress?

  4. The article notes, quite well, the misperception that education policy is bipartisan. Perhaps the better way to describe education is a field of skewed partisanship. The reform movement encompasses a wide range of political positions, but so does the status quo cohort. Mix in a Tea Party suspicion of the DoE, and you have a completely realigned political map. I think this quote is especially in touch with the education policy land mines: “Instead of being a chance to demonstrate bipartisanship, [comprehensive education] bills would likely cause Democrats to fight Democrats, Republicans to fight Republicans, and the House to fight the Senate, leaving the Administration trying to lean into the debate as best as it can.”

  5. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone joined with teachers to equalize educational resources so that all children have high-quality preschool, small classes, enriched curricula, fully qualifed teachers and social and medical supports when needed. It’s time to smash the status quo (i.e. poor resources and inexperienced teachers for the poorest students).

    Sadly, because of the recession we’ll probably see larger classes and more teachers without experience for our most challenging schools.

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