Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Obama Finds Right Message on Testing

One place I have differed with President Barack Obama is education policy.

His push for reforms including the advancement of charter schools has, in my view, hurt traditional public schools by diverting critical funding away from them. Rather than fixing the problems in the quality of our traditional public schools, the rise of and push for charter schools, some with the same kinds of quality challenges as their traditional public school counterparts, has exacerbated the problems.

The President has also been behind and has helped move forward the performance-based pay models for teachers. In essence, many of his policies have helped contribute, in my view, to the teacher shortages we see across the country today.

It appears that we’ve reached a tipping point in the reform era. President Obama is now speaking out against the number and variety of standardized tests given in our traditional public school classrooms across the country, and he’s starting to advocate for steps to reduce them.

I’m glad the President finally is speaking out on this issue, and I wish he would reverse or change course in other areas as he has reached the “lame duck” part of his term. Having the President set the table for the next person to take office will be critically important.

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