Hopes for Obama and Education

Here’s another interactive post for all of you blog readers.

It’s sort of the Pink Elephant that has landed in the living room, and I can’t just pretend it’s not here any more

The election of Barack Obama could portend significant changes in the system of public education in this country.

If you’re open to sharing, I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

What do you hope for in an Obama Administration, with regard to education? Research and new Grants? Changes to No Child Left Behind? Greater funding for urban and rural districts? Higher teacher pay? An end to vouchers? More accountability? Merit pay?

What are your concerns?

Do you have any ideas that you think Obama would do well to heed?

What might Obama ignore in the field of education that he would do well to pay close attention to?

I’m opening this up pretty wide. But with one restriction. All comments must be on the topic of education. Any that are not on education I will have to discard.

Your coments may be short, Just, what’s on the top of your your mind? I’d really like to know. And we can all benefit by hearing from one anoher.

Best

— Josh


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2 Responses to “Hopes for Obama and Education”

  1. Louise Hatala says:

    I would hope Obama would not lower educational standards just to have all students “reach a goal.” I do not want to have a child “left behind” but would like to see all children reach their full potential and I have not been seeing this happen. Both ends of the spectrum must be addressed and levels of learning enhanced. As for Research and new Grants, I hope there will be greater accountability with evidence of how the grants are helping students and awarded for the gifted learner as well. Most grants I see are geared to the students having a diffucult time in school.
    Higher teacher pay? I would love to see that happen, but; I also want accountability. My bias is good teachers deserve a good salary but marginal teachers should be held accountable for students learning and not “enabled” to “just get by.” I have been involved in merit pay – and have mixed feelings about it, but do believe it works.
    An end to vouchers? NO, I hope not. If the public school is doing an outstanding job of educating students, people will stay with those schools. However, the vouchers should be used based on the quality of education in the schools and teachers in many of the private schools should meet the same certification requirements as those in the public schools.

    Do you have any ideas that you think Obama would do well to heed?

    What might Obama ignore in the field of education that he would do well to pay close attention to?

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  2. Lastmate says:

    Homeschooling should be encouraged and vouchers provided to help meet expenses involved with it–including the costs for part-time or online classes, museum memberships, etc. Many parents want to customize their child’s education rather than accept one-size-fits-all, institutionalized education. Small class sizes (less than 15-20 students) that provide more direct classroom interaction and engagement opportunities are not an option at most public (or even the majority of private) schools, no matter how highly rated. Individualized educational services are arbitrarily offered with a wide variation between school districts as to what criteria are necessary….in many, only the most learning-disabled qualify, and then only after they’ve fallen behind up to 2 grade levels. Those who struggle but manage “average” performance (even if they could achieve much higher under more optimum conditions) often fall through the cracks, become discouraged and begin to feel like losers (so why not hang out with other losers?). Also gifted students can become quite bored not just with the degree of challenge but also the manner in which material is presented.
    Current certification isn’t necessarily the measure of a good teacher, though I don’t know what else to suggest. I do know the dedicated teachers at a part-time “homeschooler’s school” my child attends, are wonderful….some are certified, some used to be, some never were, but they know their subjects thoroughly and inspire students’ zeal for learning. Despite reduced pay and benefits, they love teaching in a bureaurocracy-free environment where they can nurture each student’s learning potential and don’t have to follow a standardized curriculum or “teach to the test”. I don’t know how this could be duplicated in a public school situation, but perhaps at least it could become more viable and affordable for more families through some sort of subsidy that would not have strings attached turning it into a carbon copy of traditional, strait-jacked schooling modes.

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