Vouchers & Obama In The 2008 Primaries

Obama
Every
now and then, I like to remind everyone who's swooning over Barack
Obama that (a) Obama might well not have won his Senate seat in 2004
were it not for Jack Ryan's campaign implosion among a series of other
mishaps, (b) the self-proclaimed "skinny kid with a funny name" Obama
was known to many as Barry (not Barack) until some point, and -- most
important to educationistas who might be reading this blog -- (c) his
positions on education issues is not something that's going to make
faithful Democrats very comfortable -- during a 2008 primary, for
example.

He might be able to beat McCain, but could he beat
Clinton or Edwards first?  Many educators -- and the teachers unions --
would have to hold their noses. He seems fine with charter schools. He
has resisted NCLB-bashing. And he has said he's open to vouchers. For
some of the ins and outs of Obama's education positions -- which
shouldn't be disqualifying but in some circles will be seen as nearly
so -- check out my previous takes on Obama here and here. For Slate's most recent piece on how Obama has made oldfashioned liberalism fashionable again, surf here.

UPDATE:
Ryan Boots at edspresso says he wishes that enough will have changed by
2008 that Obama can be pro-choice (that's what they call vouchers over
there, I guess), but that if not Obama would probably do what Lieberman did in 2000 and just change positions.  That's probably right.  Why lose out on a shot at the White House over a side issue?  [Cross-Posted from thisweekineducation.com]

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  • I don't see where liberalism has to be anti-charter or anti-voucher.

    I think that every child deserves a decent education in a safe atmosphere. The public schools can not necessarily deliver these two items. Education is often disrupted by troubled students which cheats the other 24 or more children out of their education. Fights that break out in hallways are not caused by the union or the teachers, but other students. What charter schools, vouchers, and homeschooling provide is an education without the violent and disruptive students to interfere.

    I just think that it needs to be understood that the neighborhood schools by definition will not score well so shouldn't be penalized by NCLB.

  • If charter school teachers get paid less and pay more for their health care, why do they teach there? There doesn't seem to be a paucity of teacher positions around the metropolitan area.

    So it looks like the charter school teachers want to take these spots despite the lesser pay and benefits. Is it because the working conditions are better? Are the principals more professional and supportive? Do they feel that they can teach better there?

  • Could the last post have been by Mr. Stein who taught at Robert A Waller High around 1969? If so you were a great history teacher.

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