Rigor, Rewards, Quality: Obama's Education Aims
President Hammers Home Themes in Speech
President Barack Obama’s high-profile speech on public education last week to Hispanic business leaders echoed themes he sounded on the campaign trail and in recent policy moves: an approach that emphasizes rigorous standards, innovation, and accountability for both teachers and students.
Mr. Obama acknowledged that some of the proposals that constitute the heart of his vision of education reform—rewarding good teachers, removing limits on charter schools, and lengthening both the school day and the school year—may draw criticism.
Teachers’ unions, in particular, have often been critical of charter schools, which are typically nonunionized, arguing that they divert tax dollars away from traditional public schools. Merit-based systems for teachers have been anathema to the teachers’ unions, a powerful force in the Democratic...
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