Friday, January 21, 2011

Obama readies new focus on education

The two HUGE, nationwide education issues this year are renewal of ESEA/NCLB and changing the insane, immoral last-hired/first-fired policies, given the budget crises are unfortunately likely to lead to big teacher layoffs this year (and then next, and the next…).  Regarding the former, here's an article about Obama and Duncan preparing to make a big push:

It's that specter that Obama and members of his administration intend to use to try to marshal public support and spur balky lawmakers and quarreling interest groups into action against long odds.

"No one I'm talking to is defending the status quo," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in an interview. "Everyone I talk to really shares my sense of urgency that we have to do better for our children. We're fighting for our country here."

Duncan said Obama's commitment to education reform will be reflected in his State of the Union address on Jan. 25. Obama has already spoken of the dangers to the U.S. economy and future competitiveness from lagging student test scores, and lawmakers and advocates will be watching closely to see whether he keeps the issue in the spotlight in the months ahead. They say aggressive advocacy from the president is key.

"I don't think there's any substitute but for him to be out front," said Rep. George Miller of California, top Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Some in the GOP, wary of another giant bill like health care, would prefer a series of small measures to the sweeping rewrite of No Child Left Behind favored by the administration. Democrats and many outside advocates say Congress must enact any major education overhaul this year, before the 2012 campaign swings into gear. But some Republicans say getting it right is more important than getting it fast, and they refuse to spend any new money to do it.


Obama readies new focus on education

(AP) – 4 hours ago

 Subscribe in a reader