We don’t usually highlight non-educators on this page, but in his popular blog on Slate, political commentator Mickey Kaus has a quite pertintent post on the potential tensions between Barack Obama—now, by all accounts, the Democratic frontrunner—and the teachers’ unions. Among other things, he quotes an observer as saying that, during a question-and-answer exchange at a fundraiser, Obama specifically identified the unions as an obstacle to charter schools—a movement he supports. During the campaign, Obama has also spoken positively (though not in great detail) about performance pay for teachers, and has suggested an openness towards vouchers.
Considering all that, here’s an interesting sidenote: In a (completely unscientific) recent poll of visitors to teachermagazine.org, Obama was voted the preferred presidential candidate by a large margin.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.