Obama announced his new education policy recently (read the Mercury News article here) … The three main elements were improved early childhood education (good), lift limits on charter schools (mixed bag), and link teacher pay to students performance on standardized testing (really bad). While early childhood education would be a marked improvment, charter schools are a mixed bad in my opinion in that they are potentially open to progressive models of schooling (think Downtown College Prep), but that they are also open to non and for-profit charter school chains, many of which are funded by large corporations, that are anything but progressive and basically a move towards piecemeal privatization of education. Charter schools also are largely non-union, either being hostile to unions or tragically ignored by unions who oppose them all together. Sadly, the linking of teacher pay to standardized testing though is not an echo, but more like an amplification of Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act polices- which continues to dumb down education and punish the poorest schools.
This post started quite a reaction when I posted it up on facebook. The best response was “a jab to the right, a fake to the left.” Great words.