Federal Opinion

Obama Hands NEA Endorsement To Clinton

By Alexander Russo — July 06, 2007 1 min read
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Many have noted Barack Obama’s brave foray into the wilds of merit pay in yesterday’s speech (so much for the notion that it’s widely accepted), but what about his apparent slam at teachers (and others) for their poor attitudes about low-income and minority kids?

“I was talking to one of the young teachers there about the challenges they faced, and she mentioned what she called the “These Kids Syndrome” - the willingness of society to find a million excuses for why “these kids” can’t learn,” says Obama according to his prepared remarks (Remarks of Senator Obama at NEA). “It’s the idea that “these kids come from tough backgrounds” or that “these kids are too far behind.” And after awhile, “these kids” become somebody else’s problem.Then she said to me, “When I hear that term, it drives me nuts. They’re not ‘these kids.’ They’re our kids.”

As panderers go, Obama’s not nearly the whiz that some of the others are. That was clear from his performance on Thursday with Tavis Smiley et al. And he probably realizes that Clinton’s way ahead when it comes to the NEA endorsement.

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