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Obama Hands NEA Endorsement To Clinton

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.


Is that why Obama left them standing and applauding. I do not believe the teachers agree with you. He is not going to pander to them. Hillary tried pandering to the African Americans and they saw straight through that with the Tavis Smiley debate. That is why she did not win them over even if she won the debate they stated they still was not going to vote for her. The voters know pandering when they see it.

If the Dems were pandering to the NEA, who are you pandering to, Alexander?

you are really a fool. what about obama's statement was a swipe at teachers?

i'm pandering to you, clyde.

as for the substance, i think that merit pay is a much bigger deal to teachers and esp. to the NEA than charters (or at least to its leadership if not to the folks who where there).

and i think that, however subtly couched, the line about attitudes and "those kids" signals a broader, not necessarily NEA view of the world.

Obama is not for merit pay persay: he favors a career ladder for teachers. Teachers should get paid more for mentoring, bilingualism, math and science expertise, and other critically needed skills. In this way teachers will be treated like other professionals. Teachers and kids both come out ahead. The status quo is not working for everyone. No Child Left Behind is not working but neither is the answer to just leave things as they are without standards or incentives. Teachers and schools must be held accountable while being supported and valued.

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