Obama picks a great battle

March 8, 2010

As welfare was for Bill Clinton, education could be for Barack Obama — an issue that shows independence from his liberal base and allows for compromise with Republicans. Obama’s decision to support the authorities at the poorly performing Rhode Island school that fired its entire faculty has enraged teachers unions, as this NYTimes story documents. But it is hard to argue with the president’s reasoning: “If a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn’t show signs of improvement, then there’s got to be a sense of accountability.”

Also on the education front, please read this NYTimes mag story on how to improve America’s teachers. You will be amazed at how little effort goes into instructing teachers on how to manage their classrooms or how to specifically teach various subjects. If these skills were improved, one expert concluded, “we could close the gap between the United States and Japan on these international tests within two years.”

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