Obama is Getting the Message

By 01/24/2010

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A few days ago I urged the President to shift education upward on the national agenda. Now it appears that he had already anticipated the upset in Massachusetts and was beginning to make the grand pivot even before election day.  Putting another billion dollars into RttT is step one, but the bigger step is to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (by another name of course).  According to the latest National Journal account, that is now on the table.

Eric Hanushek has just conducted a study that says it would be worth better than a trillion dollars annually to the industrialized world if it raised its test scores to Finland-like levels over the next 20 years.   If Obama really wants a stimulus package that is more than a short-term political fix, education is where he needs to go.

It’s good the president is getting the message. Let’s hope he finds the right education reform strategy, because the payoff could be much bigger than even most optimists believe.

Comment on this article
  • Michael Umphrey says:

    It’s unwise to view education as a mere input to the economy, but now that it’s nationalized its nearly inevitable that it will be viewed that way.

    Through NCLB many educators now see the dishonesty and folly of nationalized education. We have goals that nobody believes are serious, but since they are backed up by the coercion of the state, we have all become imposters and charlatans. By 2014, all children shall be 6’4″ tall. . .

    The important work we now face is for communities to regain control of their schools. We need to restore democracy.

  • cynic says:

    Reauthorizing NCLB is a great idea, just look at the last 7+ years of success. Every group of students has benefitted from the increased money and testing. Every piece of research you read supports even more high-stakes testing for our students.

    With Obama’s support behind education, how can it fail?
    See healthcare, Olympics, climate change

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