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  • Missed Opportunity for Courage on Education

    10 March 2009 - Washington, DC - President Barack Obama delivers remarks on education reforms at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of CommerceÕs 19th Annual Legislative Conference at the Washington Marriott, Washington DC

    President Barack Obama was getting credit for “taking on teachers’ unions” before he even gave his speech on education today, and nothing he ended up saying contained enough substance to honestly be called courage.

    True, he did vaguely endorse “merit pay” but it is still completely unclear what type of merit pay he will end up proposing. If Obama just provides bonuses for teachers who put in extra hours or receive more training, then there will be no real change at all. Even his call for more charter schools, which is admirable, is nothing different than what President Bill Clinton was calling for over a decade ago.

    What was decidedly uncourageous about President Obama’s speech was his decision to not even mention the plight of the 1,700 Washington, D.C. school children whose educational futures Obama holds in his hands.

    Today, the Senate is scheduled to vote on an amendment to the Omnibus that would save the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program that has placed 1,700 low-income kids into private schools of their choosing. Last week, Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan even said: “I think those kids need to stay in their school.”

    If Obama had come out in support if these kids’ futures, then that would have been a truly courageous stand against the teachers’ unions.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Missed Opportunity for Courage on Education

    1. Penn says:

      He just is not going to help out the next generation at all.

    2. Barb -mn says:

      We are calling on all teachers, educators etc, that have dignity and integrity to teach our children well. We ask you to leave the government run education (who does get higher pay then private teachers and educators)and bring your integrity, dignity, skills and talents to the private institutions!

      This will show true integrity. I feel that if a person wants to teach CHILDREN/STUDENTS, their wages wouldn't matter AS MUCH AS THEIR STUDENTS DO. PLEASE CLOSE DOWN THE GOVERNMENT LIES, DISTORTIONS AND POLITICAL CORRECTIONS. THE STUDENTS DESERVE THE TRUTH!!!!!GET YOUR JOB WHERE YOU ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED AND WHERE IT WILL MATTER!! PRIVATE SCHOOLS. PLEASE!

    3. Anne, Alabama says:

      Your call for good teachers to head to private schools is a great idea. However, it simply isn't as practical as you make out. Why don't you quit your job and work for less pay and no benefits?

      Insulting teachers by telling them they don't care about their students certainly isn't going to inspire them to change jobs. Why do "people" assume teachers don't want to be paid? They have families too… Would you tell a doctor to just help people, but not worry about getting paid?

      Good teachers leaving public schools will not shutdown the schools. The good teachers will just be replaced and the students will be left out.

    4. Barb -mn says:

      I'm sorry, there seems to be a misunderstanding. I do work at a job with no benefits. And I didn't mean to mention any teachers that didn't care. I am focused on those that do.

      We can't afford private schools, but maybe if that is all that is available, everyone could.

      People only need so much to survive. It is up to them to choose a lifestyle within their means and work for it. Sometimes things don't work out for anyone because of failures we are all struggling now. Why should some government employees get away with/out sacrificing?

      Usually people who take on a career consider the wage. Most who take on their life's will, does it at any cost.

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