Obama on Education:
1. My kids get to go to private schools.
2. Vouchers for federal school choice program for low-income families in Washington, D.C. are wrong.
Do we hear correctly?
Hope turned into hypocrocy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess).
Also: as anyone who understands the schools of Washington DC can attest: money spent on education sometimes means nothing in terms of better student performance. Two years ago, the Law School of the University of the District of Columbia spent more per student than any other law school in the nation. The success rate at passing the bar the first time was the nation’s worst….
If you add up the stimulus bill, Obama’s proposed foreclosure fix, and the omnibus spending bill House Democrats are preparing, the administration is kicking off its tenure by spending a whopping $1.4 trillion.
But there are some things the Democrat-controlled Congress will not countenance spending money on. Namely, Sakeithia, 12, Rashawn, 16, Paul, 11, Dominique, 14, Breanna, 9, Jordan, 17, Fransoir, 12, and De’Andre, 9.
They’re all Washington, D.C. kids attending private schools thanks in part to a federally funded school-voucher program. The program was enacted five years ago after a heated battle in the Senate, and supporters say it’s unlikely it will be reauthorized by the Democratic Congress unless they’re lobbied something fierce.
The fiscal 2009 omnibus Appropriations bill (HR 1105) would require that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program — known as the D.C. voucher program — be reauthorized by Congress and then approved by the D.C. government in order for the program to receive federal funding after the 2009-2010 academic year.
But Republicans and advocates say the program is unlikely to be reauthorized with Democrats controlling Congress.
“It would certainly be a steep hill for supporters of the program to climb given the slim margins this program passed with back when conservatives controlled the Congress,” said Dan Lips, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. The D.C. government may be more willing to support the program, he said.
The D.C. voucher program — the first to provide federally funded vouchers to students — was launched as a five-year pilot program through the 2004 omnibus appropriations law (PL 108-199).
Nancy Pelosi’s office offered a “wait-and-see” soundbite on the program, but the language in the bill is more clear about its fate:
Read the rest from the Weekly Standard:
By Philip Elliott, AP
President Barack Obama on Tuesday embraced a new approach to public education that adds up to merit pay for the better teachers and longer days and school years for students.
These proposals, which constitute the new president’s vision of an education system that meets 21st century challenges, were sure to generate loud criticism, particularly from teachers’ union.
Educators oppose charter schools because they divert tax dollars away from traditional public schools. Merit-based systems for teachers have been anathema to teachers’ unions, a powerful force in Obama’s Democratic Party.
Obama acknowledged this in his talk to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom,” he said, delivering the first major education speech of his presidency. “Too many in the Republican Party have opposed new investments in early education, despite compelling evidence of its importance.”
But he argued that a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s education system is an economic imperative that can’t wait, despite the urgency of the financial crisis and other pressing issues.
“Despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we have let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us,” Obama said. “The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, unsustainable for our democracy, and unacceptable for our children. We cannot afford to let it continue. What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream.”
The ideas the president promoted were nearly all elements of his campaign platform last year. He only barely mentioned the reauthorization of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, which introduced sweeping reforms that schools are struggling to meet without the funding to match. Obama said his administration would “later this year” ensure that schools get the funding they need and that the money is conditioned on results.
Among the principles Obama laid out were: