Education: A Golden Age

“The education sector’s structure and policies will change more in the next 3 years than they changed in the last 2,500 years”

Obama: vouchers, student-performance-based teacher compensation, and charter schools


By: Mike Allen February 11, 2008 08:44 PM EST
Taking a position that could help him win a general election, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said in an interview that the federal government should experiment with charter schools even if some Democrats oppose the idea. In a joint interview with Politico WJLA/ABC 7, Obama was asked about issues on which he might oppose the mainstream of his party. “I’ve consistently said I think we need to support charter schools,” Obama said.
I think it’s important for us to experiment in terms of how teachers are compensated — working with teachers but looking at how we can reward excellence in classrooms.
Asked about the reaction of teachers’ unions, Obama acknowledged that they “haven’t been thrilled with me talking about this.”My sister’s a teacher, so I am a strong supporter of teachers,” he said. “But I’m not going to be bound by just a certain way of talking about things in order for us to move forward on behalf of our kids. And I think a lot of teachers want to talk about how we can continue improving performance measures. We’ve got to get beyond a lot of the traditional categories.Conservatives have singled out overtures on education as perhaps the most promising way that Obama could convince Republicans, intrigued by his personal style, to cross over and vote for him if he is the Democratic nominee next fall. “The Democratic Party is a big tent, and so there are a bunch of different positions that I might not agree with,” Obama said. On something like charter schools and experimenting with our school system to make it work, I think that we really have to pay attention.

2008/02/11 Posted by | Charter schools, Performance pay, Policy, Unions, US, Vouchers | Leave a comment