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Federal

Did the Teachers’ Unions Endorse the Wrong Guy?

By Michele McNeil — August 07, 2008 1 min read

USA Today editorial writer Richard Whitmire makes that case in an EdWeek commentary you can read here.

The gist of Whitmire’s piece? John McCain will do more to gut NCLB then will Barack Obama.

What do you think?

Flypaper thinks his idea isn’t so far-fetched. This Week in Education thinks it’s true.

I’ll weigh in on one minor point. Whitmire says that teachers’ unions don’t need to worry about McCain’s support of school choice because vouchers are dead. “Period,” he writes. While the idea of federally funded vouchers may be dead, for now, I do think it’s too early to write off this movement at the state level.

In Georgia, for example, a school-voucher group called All Children Matter spent more on legislative races this year than any other independent committee, according to this story. In Florida, the same voucher group has raised $2.1 million to help elect like-minded candidates to the legislature. That state is also considering a constitutional amendment that would help restore a hallmark voucher program created under then-Gov. Jeb Bush but later struck down by the Florida Supreme court.

And as another sign this movement isn’t dead, the wealthy Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, who was one of the chief supporters of a failed voucher initiative in Utah, has joined the Friedman Foundation, a school-choice advocacy group, as one of its co-chairs.