Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama embraces charter schools in education plan

Here's an AP article about the speech:

The federal government spends about $200 million a year on charter schools, privately run institutions that receive public money. Obama's proposal would take that up to over $400 million.

Obama recognized that charter schools have been a source of debate in Ohio. Past Republican administrations used charter schools and private school vouchers to offer families a way out of troubled public schools. But Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has been trying to scale back the programs to focus taxpayer money on more traditional public schools.

The Ohio Federation of Teachers has complained about the management of some charter schools, which has moved money away from the schools where its members work. The union has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate for-profit charter school operator White Hat Management for allegedly violating the terms of the tax-free status assigned to some of its schools.

"I'll work with all our nation's governors to hold all our charter schools accountable," Obama said in the excerpts. "Charter schools that are successful will get the support they need to grow. And charters that aren't will get shut down."

While teachers unions typically oppose the idea of performance-based merit pay, Obama is embracing the idea along with demands that teachers who don't meet standards are removed from the classroom. Obama's campaign said teacher performance could be judged by peer review, student test results, classroom evaluations or other processes.

"We must give teachers every tool they need to be successful, but we also need to give every child the assurance that they'll have the teacher they need to be successful," Obama said. "That means setting a firm standard — teachers who are doing a poor job will get extra support, but if they still don't improve, they'll be replaced."


Obama embraces charter schools in education plan

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Barack Obama is promising to double funding for charter schools and replace inferior teachers, embracing education reform proposals normally more popular with Republican candidates.


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