Obama Endorses ‘Broader’ and ‘Equality’ Statements

June 16, 2008 1 min read

On Friday, David Brooks asked which one of last week’s statements on education policy Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., would endorse. Would it be the one that called for a “broader, bolder approach” or the Education Equality Project’s call to ramp up school accountability?

I wondered the same thing. I exchanged e-mails with Danielle Gray, the deputy policy director of the Obama campaign (thanks to Alyson Klein for the introduction).

Here’s what I found out (other than Gray reads Campaign K-12): Sen. Obama likes both statements. (You can read Gray’s comments and the rest of my reporting on both statements in the story that will appear in this week’s issue of Education Week.)

Alexander Russo will probably point to Gray’s comments as supporting his theory that Obama is a pragmatist who tells people what they want to hear. But it’s hard to imagine a Democratic presidential candidate saying anything different. All those who signed the Education Equality Project’s statement told me that they supported expanding health care, early childhood education—and all of the other things listed in the “broader, bolder” statement. The central question is whether policymakers should expect more from schools without those additional supports. That’s a tough one for Democrats to answer—and one I expect will take longer than this election cycle for the party to sort out.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.