Romney on education. For the right of teachers to strike. Against Common Core.
Brother Mike represents the feelings many of us have when it comes to the Obama administration’s education policies.
Today he comments on his Small Talk blog about the awful Obama interview with Savannah Guthrie on Education Nation.
After some double-talk and a few rhetorical bones thrown to AFT and NEA leaders about not relying “completely” on standardized tests (only mainly on them), Obama tells us with a straight face that “teachers have embraced the idea of merit pay.” Is he serious? Did he even read the papers about Chicago and how 30,000 city teachers united like fingers in a fist to beat back Rahm’s failed merit-pay mandate?
This reminds me of IEA Executive Director Audrey Soglin’s absurd claim that Illinois’ Senate Bill 7 was “teacher-led reform.”
They just make this shit up.
The question I keep getting asked is why are the Democrats so bad on education issues? Why is there no attempt to distinguish themselves from the Republicans on this issue. They at least pay lip service to differences for electoral purposes on other issues?
My answer is not fully developed, to be sure. But in an odd way I think they do distinguish themselves from the Republicans on education.
When Mitt appeared on Education Nation (by the way, that NBC series is just the most depressing to watch) he basically argued for no federal role in education at all. For example, he says there should be no federal support for Common Core.
“You know, I think it’s fine for people to lay out what they think core subjects might be and to suggest a pedagogy and being able to provide that learning to our kids,” Romney said. “I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a common core on various states. It’s one thing to put it out as a model and let people adopt it as they will, but to financially reward states based upon accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum, I think, is a mistake. And the reason I say that is that there may be a time when the government has an agenda that it wants to promote.”
And in the same interview he chided Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for pushing a “national curriculum,” although he added that he likes that the Obama administration has championed new teacher-evaluation systems and prodded states to expand charter schools through Race to the Top.
It appears that the GOP that the Tea Party conservatives have gained control over is a party that says it wants no federal role in education at all. It wants no Department of Education.
In the sixties, federal education policy stood in opposition to racist states’ rights school segregation laws. Now the Democrat’s federal policies seem to have morphed into policies that are driven by the corporate agenda.
Even George Bush’s No Child Left Behind was more Ted Kennedy than George Bush.
If you’re a rich hedge fund manager and want to steer federal policy toward’s the corporate agenda, would you set up a Republicans for Education Reform? I don’t think so. If for no other reasons than the practical ones. You would give your millions to the Democrats. They are the ones who actually want to impact national education policy.