Obama's Independent-Minded Education Vision Taking Shape

There are some bandwagons that US Senator Barak Obama is willing to get on (see picture) but others where he is showing his independence.

For example, his thoughts on education are becoming clearer -- and they're not what you might think they'd be, given his traditional Democratic credentials.

As longtime readers of this blog may remember, Obama is not only strongly pro-charter schools, but also seemingly more open to the idea of vouchers than many of his colleageus.
In an interview during the campaign, he's quoted as saying that while he is generally opposed to vouchers:
"I am not closed minded on this issue...the bottom line is--how are we providing the most effective education for students at every grade level and every economic strata...."
I wonder how many of his supporters know that.

He's also not getting on the anti-NCLB bandwagon, as was made clear this week when he gave a speech at the very Democratic Center on American Progress, which includes the following:
"Yes, it’s a moral outrage that this Administration hasn’t come through with the funding for what it claims has been its number one domestic priority. But to wage war against the entire law for that reason is not an education policy, and Democrats need to realize that."
Clearly, to be a national leader he's goig to have to get out from under the Democratic/Durbin umbrella. It's hard to tell just what to make of the "innovation districts" he's proposing in the speech. Are they re-imagined district fuctions like Chicago is trying, or modeled on the Chancellor's District idea originally from New York is hard to tell. Among other things, all this also makes you wonder where he's coming out on things like the Katrina vouchers.

See also
We'll Always Have Durbin... (Eduwonk), Obama and Innovation Districts (Teach And Learn), Opening soon: Obama's school (Chicago Sun-Times), and Remembering Rosa Parks (podcast from Obama).


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