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Did the Teachers' Unions Endorse the Wrong Guy?


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.


I don't think the current party or it's successors can be trusted to change course. They have been pretty inflexible on most core conservative issues up to this point. I don't think Obama has education as a priority and likely won't change it either since it would incur bad press for something he does not understand as a problem. He has other priorities. So...neither will change it until the collapse of the system in 2014 when the majority if not all schools will be underperforming under the 100% passing rule. The most we can hope for is a slide to water down the rules (as we are seeing in Texas right now with 'nonreturner' regulations). I don't look for a change until the last minute, reactive not proactive.

Neither will change until the 2014 rule kicks in and most schools 'look' underperforming. What's in it for them right now? Any mention of softening NCLB will be jumped on by the opponent as soft on education for all children. Response on this will be reactive, slippery and evasive not decisive. Sorry, neither party has the guts to say this is an ultimately failed theory.

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