It’s about time. And, it’s amazing to see in print.
A major newspaper released an article explaining how President Barack Obama is like former-President George Bush. I would actually make the case that Obama has taken Bush’s failed education policies and created NCLB on steroids; however, I am happy to see someone writing about the obvious likeness between the two (at least, when it comes to education).
As the article’s author stated:
…Obama has taken the worst aspect of Bush’s No Child Left Behind education law — an obsession with testing — and amplified it.
Obama has expanded the importance of standardized testing to determine how much teachers will be paid, which educators will be fired and which schools will be closed — despite evidence that such practices are harmful. In the process, he’s offended just about all the liberals involved in or advocating for education without gaining much support from conservatives.
Education advocates have repeatedly noted the piles of research revealing standardized testing to be inadequate as a base for all things education, and civil rights advocates object to methods and policies “that use minority communities as ‘testing grounds’.”
Another similarity between Obama and Bush is the infamous “you’re either us or against us” mentality. As one source was quoted as saying, “There’s an attitude that if you aren’t with us, you are against us — and therefore against children and reform…[The administration] tries to bully and condemn any opposition, even if it is from groups that should be their allies.”
While Obama could be rallying support for education reform–a worthy goal deserving merit and frank discussions–he has decided to coerce educators with his research-less ideas and (indirect or direct) attempts to privatize education all the while applauding union busting.
Educators are a critical part of his voting base, but he is definitely causing many people to reconsider how they view him, me included. I don’t vote for anyone based on a single issue, but education is a huge portion of my vote.