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Wishful Thinking About Obama

Ewatch_nyt It feels to me like there's at least a little bit of wishful thinking in Bruce Fuller's post about Barack Obama in the New York Times (Right About Education).  In particular, Fuller seems to think that Obama would abandon much of the accountability and testing regimen of NCLB in favor of new programs, controlled charter school expansion, and early childhood education.  Obama has become notoriously hard to read on issues that divide his supporters -- his campaign famously announced that Obama approves of both the Broader Bolder agenda AND the Education Equity Project.  But I don't think dismantling the "top-down" standards and accountability system  is what Obama wants to do -- or what's going to happen.  For starters, neither charter accountability, nor performance pay work without them.


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Charter accountability and performance pay would work much better if we set Stanadards, and removed sanctions from national testing, and used the data for ranking and decision-making purposes. The "garbage in, garbage out" dynamic that undercuts NCLB-type testing would shrink.

Its only wishful thinking if educators can't get ourselves out of the fearful box of the 90s when we felt the need to copy the Republicans' scourch and burn politics.

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