by David Safier
This from an AP article in the Star about some of Obama's spending plans:
I don't know any details beyond this.
The idea of merit-based is more palatable to me if its purpose is "to help failing schools turn around." If Obama and Duncan want to lure better teachers into low performing schools, where too many of the teachers tend to be mediocre, with some types of bonuses or raises, I say, more power to 'em. The devil, however, is always in the details.
Reading First is a well known boondoggle from the Bush administration. They spent $1 billion a year (even a year ago, that sounded like more money than it does now) to push a single drill-and-kill reading program they liked. The program had absolutely no comprehension benefit based on reading tests given to students in the Reading First schools and students in other schools.
If Obama and Duncan spend the money on a variety of approaches and see which ones, or which combinations, yield the greatest benefits, I say again, more power to 'em.
I remain hopeful but skeptical about Obama's approach to education. Much as I like the guy and think we need to cut him some slack early, I'm not planning to give him a pass.