Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bully Pulpit But No Legislation For Education?

I'm a supporter of the No Child Left Behind Act only because I know federal education dollars aren't going away and so I prefer its accountability provisions to none at all, which is what we had prior to its passing. Having said that, though, I'd rather have less federal involvement in education overall. I'm therefore pleased to read the following:

President Barack Obama is promoting tighter standards for teachers and a reduced dropout rate for students as part of an education plan that, at least for now, lacks any new legislative component.

Obama plans to call on Americans to educate themselves as well as their children during his appearance Tuesday at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is his first major speech devoted solely to education since taking office, but officials say he plans neither to detail any requirements to achieve his goals nor to change President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind program.

Instead, a senior administration official said, Obama would speak to the importance of increasing the rigor of the standards in place and challenge states to adopt world-class standards rather than a specific standard.

4 comments:

Neko said...

I hate to burst your bubble but, looking at Obama's record, if he says he's not going to legislate something, it probably means he's going to end up legislating the hell out of it.

PeggyU said...

Good!

Still not in favor of the idea of universal preschool, though.

Ellen K said...

I am fearful that the oversight of the Obama Administration will implement such ideas as "new history" and "new literature" in which deference is paid to minority writers no matter how obscure, in order to fill some social niche. So kids won't read Shakespeare or learn about Manifest Destiny, but instead will learn about little known writers and obverse history just for the sake of being different. A culture that doesn't share some common beliefs, knowledge, traits is a culture that cannot adhere. It is a culture bent on self-destruction. And in the end, I think that is what Team Obama really wants.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Despite all the hot air expended on education this election cycle I still don't think it's seen as a serious issue nationally. Obama doesn't look to be doing anything important legislatively beyond throwing money at public education.

He's trying not to anger the NEA and trying not to anger the growing constituency in favor of substantive policy change. So no repeal of NCLB but no big push for charters or vouchers.

Money being oil on politically-troubled waters, Obama's laying it on thick and fast in the hopes, I believe, of buying himself some reprieve from demands for policy changes that'll get him into very hot water whichever way he goes.