Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More of the same on education

The Obama education speech is just more of the same for those of us familiar with the Axelrod agenda on education, which consists almost exclusively of three things:

  1. Sops to all manner of Republican talking points: more charter schools, "higher standards" for teachers, states, etc., "more accountability" for teachers, fearmongering based on inaccurate "studies" that claim American education is among the worst in the world. Obama has embraced Bush's NCLB law and wants to tie it more closely to "results";
  2. A gleeful enthusiasm for continuing the violation of constitutional federalism, which leaves education to the states;
  3. Lots of big talk with no real action to back it up -- as one report says, "he plans neither to detail any requirements to achieve his goals".

While I remain impressed with Obama's willingness to call out lax families who do not raise the importance of education in their children's eyes, the rest is straight out of Dubya's plans. However, whenever I worry about #1 and #2, I am comforted by #3.

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