Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nixon : China as Obama : Education?



It was largely forgotten amongst the sturm and drang of the economy, but President Obama made an important speech about education policy this week.

While every president in recent memory loudly proclaims his desire to be "the education President," very little usually changes. The Democrats are the tools of the diabolical teachers' unions, and the Republicans are too busy trying to take away gay rights to actually push for real reforms.

Nonetheless, take a gander of some of the things that Obama had to say:
  • Merit pay for good teachers
  • Making it easier to get rid of bad teachers
  • No state limits on charter schools
  • Extending the school day and school year to better match Asian countries
All of these are sensible reforms that pretty much all the experts (who aren't union members) can agree on, but what's so shocking is that a Democrat is saying them. All he'd have to do is plump for school vouchers, and he'd be practically indistinguishable from his old buddies at the University of Chicago.

Even more shocking, the teacher's unions didn't immediately call for Obama's impeachment:

"We finally have an education president," said Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers. "We really embrace the fact that he's talked about both shared responsibility and making sure there is a voice for teachers, something that was totally lacking in the last eight years."

Which brings us to the title of this post. Nixon famously said that only he, with his long-standing anti-Communist credentials, could have re-opened relations with the People's Republic of China.

(Of course, Stephen Ambrose has quipped, "That's because anyone else who tried to do it would have been accused of being a Communist sympathizer by Dick Nixon.")

Perhaps the same is true of educational reform. Perhaps only a Democrat could push through merit pay and lengthening the school year, because any Republican who tried would be torn apart by attack ads.

My fervent hope is that Obama is actually serious about these reforms, and that the reaction of union leaders is the result of an actual desire for change, rather than because they've already received indications that Obama's words are a smokescreen, and that things will remain business as usual.

Mr. President, it's your move.

4 comments:

kaichang said...

Even though I did not vote for him and find him abhorrent in a dozen ways, I hope you are right about the education and agree it would take a democrat to initiate such changes.

Now all we need is a republican to advocate drug legalization ...

sarsip said...

"Republicans are too busy trying to take away gay rights"... straw man! No one is trying to 'take away' anything. What they're trying to do is make sure special class status isn't issued to people of non-color. Once special class status is issued based on behavioral choices (as opposed to being born black or asian or white or handicapped), it opens the floodgates for others to claim special class status.

Second, "Even more shocking, the teacher's unions didn't immediately call for Obama's impeachment" - There's nothing shocking at all about this - as you somewhat allude to, Obama isn't a republican - the ONLY criteria needed for the nut job communistic unions use to gauge whether to call for anyone's impeachment. Lookit, even NCLB was written by a Kennedy and they still called for GW's removal and railed (whined) against the bill incessantly.

Chris said...

sarsip,

No argument on the hypocrisy of Democratic constituents. I thought the worst was when the so-called "feminists" supported Bill Clinton as he lied about his philandering. I don't see the difference between that and supporting a brutal dictator in a foreign country.

But to specifically focus on a constitutional amendment to deny gay people the right to marry is clearly trying to take away a right.

The right to marry who you love is not conferred by the government, it is conferred by virtue of being human.

Don't forget that 50 years ago, I wouldn't have been able to marry my wife because we're of different races.

paul said...

I love my cat, can I marry it?

Your argument is another straw man. The truth is, there are laws against gay marriage - or better stated - marriage is defined as 'a man and a woman' - it's ALWAYS been this way. This has and had nothing to do with 'taking rights away', it has everything to do with the law that has been standing for... ever.

And except for judges on the court who wrongly bring their own bias into their opinions, another truth is, just as seen once again in California's Prop 8, where CITIZENS get to vote on the issue, they vote against it. (remember, they passed it once before the court overturned it, so they passed it again)

Bottom line is, I love my niece, but I can't marry her. BEHAVIORAL choices are not the same as being born (race!), and just like the junk science used to make people believe in 'Global Warming', there is no scientific proof that people are 'born gay'. Every article, every white paper, every study all use the same word when talking about a 'gay gene' - "may"... may is not proof. When you're born Asian, you're Asian. There is no 'may'.

Love is not all you need... you also need the law on your side, and currently, it's not. That's not 'taking away' anything. That's just a fact. Another fact is, if you leave it up to the people - that law won't chance.