Obama’s national education policy is to support the expansion of charter schools to undermine public education and school-teacher labor unions. According to Danny Weil, Obama wants to tie teacher’s pay to the student’s performance, which would be measured through test scores. Merit pay based on performance is strongly opposed by teachers unions nationwide. Teachers want equal pay for equal work and assurances that funding for low-income schools will be fair.
The expanding of Charter Schools is a process of privatizing public schools – which is argued that this is not improving school but rather replacing public schools with non-union profit and non-profit private institutions. Charter Schools are often accused of “cherry picking students” to build higher test scores, leaving low-income and difficult to teach students in inadequately funded public systems.
U.S. Senate voted for $40 million increase in funding for federal charter school programs, which would be $256 million for fiscal year 2010. The incentive behind this plan is to turn around the Nations lowest performing public schools with $100 billion federal money for stimulus plan. Instead of directly funding low-income schools the money can only be used if state increase the number of charter schools.
Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan closed 70 neighborhood schools while he was superintendent of Schools in Chicago resulting in a loss of 6,000 Chicago Teacher union members.
Obama and Duncan’s Education Policy: Like Bush’s, Only Worse
Source: Counterpunch.org 8/24/2009
Teacher Reformers Prepare for Battle Over Public Education,
Source: labor Notes, October 2009,
Student Researcher: Gina R. Sarpy
Faculty Evaluator: Sheila Katz
Sonoma State University: Sociology of Media, Fall 2009
Instructor: Peter Phillips, #01