David Brooks Praises Obama on Education

Praise for Barack Obama’s education plans comes from an unexpected source–David Brooks. A portion of his column:

The news is good. In fact, it’s very good. Over the past few days I’ve spoken to people ranging from Bill Gates to Jeb Bush and various education reformers. They are all impressed by how gritty and effective the Obama administration has been in holding the line and inciting real education reform.

Over the summer, the Department of Education indicated that most states would not qualify for Race to the Top money. Now states across the country are changing their laws: California, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Tennessee, among others.

It’s not only the promise of money that is motivating change. There seems to be some sort of status contest as states compete to prove they, too, can meet the criteria. Governors who have been bragging about how great their schools are don’t want to be left off the list.

These changes mean that states are raising their caps on the number of charter schools. When charters got going, there was a “let a thousand flowers bloom” mentality that sometimes led to bad schools. Now reformers know more about how to build charters and the research is showing solid results. Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University recently concluded a rigorous study of New York’s charter schools and found that they substantially narrowed the achievement gap between suburban and inner-city students.

The changes also will mean student performance will increasingly be a factor in how much teachers get paid and whether they keep their jobs. There is no consensus on exactly how to do this, but there is clear evidence that good teachers produce consistently better student test scores, and that teachers who do not need to be identified and counseled. Cracking the barrier that has been erected between student outcomes and teacher pay would be a huge gain.

Duncan even seems to have made some progress in persuading the unions that they can’t just stonewall, they have to get involved in the reform process. The American Federation of Teachers recently announced innovation grants for performance pay ideas. The New Haven school district has just completed a new teacher contract, with union support, that includes many of the best reform ideas.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    EDUREKA DAILY NEWS says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values: Over the past few days I've spoken to people ranging .. http://bit.ly/24eioa

  2. 2
    eduReka! says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values: Over the past few days I've spoken to people ranging .. http://bit.ly/24eioa

  3. 3
    Classroom Supply says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values http://tinyurl.com/yfvvaam

  4. 4
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Brooks being happy with Obama for exploring the idea of longer school days and school years without actually fixing the problems of why our already too-long school days and school years are not as effective as the massive amount of money we are paying for them should make them says more about Brooks and other conservatives than it does about Obama or his education plan… except perhaps that it shows how neoconservative Obama is on education.
     
    Obama’s education plan is fundamentally flawed at best. He wishes to simply copy European changes in the length of time kids spend in school without changing the current problem with the American school system: we treat our school kids like they are in prison and then express surprise and dismay when they hate school and don’t benefit from the experience. We need less warehousing of our kids, not more, and more engagement of their interest and humanity.
     

  5. 5
    EDUREKA DAILY NEWS says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values: Over the past few days I've spoken to people ranging .. http://bit.ly/24eioa

  6. 6
    eduReka! says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values: Over the past few days I've spoken to people ranging .. http://bit.ly/24eioa

  7. 7
    Classroom Supply says:

    » David Brooks Praises Obama on Education Liberal Values http://tinyurl.com/yfvvaam

  8. 8
    dora says:

    Just because Brooks is supporting something that is part of Arne Duncan and the Broad’s agenda does not make it good. Obama just doesn’t have a clue what he has been supporting.
    President Obama has played too much basketball with Arne Duncan and not had enough across the table discussion to understand what Mr. Duncan is pushing.
    To see more, check out:
    http://seattle-ed.blogspot.com/

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