The President wins. Does education win, too?

President Obama won re-election Tuesday. What does it mean for education?

President Obama won re-election Tuesday. What does it mean for education?

One of the least discussed issues in this presidential campaign was education.

Beyond sharing their respect for teachers, the two candidates gave few details about their education vision or plans.  Education was never discussed with much depth at any of the debates.

With the re-election of President Obama,  we can presume a continuation of Race to the Top type strategies where reform is incentivized.

Not all educators are happy with that model, as reflected in the anxiety over the direction that Race to the Top is taking states, including Georgia. Race to the Top requires extensive testing and ties teacher evaluations to test results.

But the re-election of President Obama is prompting positive statements from education organizations, including the National Education Association.

Here is a press statement from the NEA:

Students and children scored major victories throughout the United States today, as voters took to the polls and made their point: it’s time to focus on what’s important here at home.  In addition to reelecting President Obama, voters elected friends of education to every level of government and rejected ballot measures that attacked educators and public education.

“President Obama’s re-election is a victory for students and their educators,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Americans have spoken and they’ve chosen to continue moving forward.  Voters made clear that they value public education, workers’ rights, health care, women’s rights and a strong middle class.”

Over the past four years, the Obama Administration fought to keep class sizes small, and protected more than 400,000 educator jobs. He also doubled investment in scholarships and financial aid so more middle and working-class families can realize the dream of a college education.

“Throughout the campaign, the President pledged to invest in education—especially in early childhood education—and to make higher education more affordable,” said Van Roekel. “He and his congressional and gubernatorial colleagues also promised to protect women’s rights and rebuild the middle class from the inside out—and that obviously resonated with voters, especially educators.”

And here is the statement from the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

“The importance of this election was far greater than casting a ballot for one candidate over another—as important as that exercise in democracy is. The American people voted today to create opportunity and shared prosperity by sharing responsibility, and to reject the cynical ‘you’re on your own’ philosophy. The results of this election are a declaration by the American people that to rebuild a strong and vibrant middle class and ensure a voice for all, we all have to be in this together.

Americans voted for a vision for our nation that says government has an essential role that includes protecting our families in times of crisis, investing in public schools as a foundation of our democracy, guaranteeing access to affordable healthcare, and ensuring retirement with dignity after a lifetime of hard work.

Election night also was a victory for people power over money power. I witnessed the hard work of our union’s volunteers firsthand as I moved through Ohio, Florida and other states on the AFT’s ‘Your Vote—Your Right—Their Futures’ bus tour. Thousands upon thousands of our members made phone calls, knocked on doors, and reached out in every way they could to get their families, friends and neighbors to the polls on Election Day—an effort that contributed not only to President Obama’s re-election, but also to victories in key Senate, House and gubernatorial races across the country.”

.–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

66 comments Add your comment

Teachertweet

November 7th, 2012
12:18 am

Please toss RT3 into the same black hole as NCLB

Mikey D.

November 7th, 2012
12:41 am

Educators and children were screwed regardless of the outcome of the presidential election. Both candidates were horrid choices with regards to public education.

Goodforkids

November 7th, 2012
12:43 am

Agreed and agreed. Thanks, teacher tweet and mikey d.

Private Citizen

November 7th, 2012
12:51 am

My feelings are so strong on this I’m just going to withhold comment except to say agreement with those who have posted so far.

Pride and Joy

November 7th, 2012
1:05 am

Education has already won in GA.
Amendment one passed.

canyouhearus

November 7th, 2012
2:21 am

The NEA lines up behind a Democrat. Color me shocked.

Mary Elizabeth

November 7th, 2012
4:41 am

“The results of this election are a declaration by the American people that to rebuild a strong and vibrant middle class and ensure a voice for all, we all have to be in this together. . . .Election night also was a victory for people power over money power.”
===========================================

I have often thought that this election would be pivotal in the direction that our nation, and our world, would move in the 21st century because the choice of President Obama by the American people means that we as a race, a human race, are evolving toward greater consciousness of inclusion and egalitarianism in how we perceive one another.

No one lost this election because we are all moving in the direction that Providence would have us move, in my opinion. We are simply arriving sooner than later toward a kinder, more humanitarian world. There can be no losers when that has happened, and no one should proclaim victory over any other human being for to do that would not be in keeping with the beauty, and the grace, of this undertaking and its conclusion. The collective voice of the American people has spoken, and the now the America that I so love, and have always believed in, will be better able to lead the world, a grateful world, to its higher destination. Thanks be to God

Peter Smagorinsky

November 7th, 2012
5:42 am

I voted for Obama, but NOT because of his educational policies and role in promoting the Duncan agenda. In fact, it’s a source of sorrow for me that they guy I backed has pretty much ruined the one thing I care about most.

TLB

November 7th, 2012
5:42 am

@Mary Elizabeth..well said. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

homeschooler

November 7th, 2012
5:45 am

Strong Romney supporter here but I don’t believe either candidate will or would have done much for education. Education needs to be taken out of the federal government’s hands all together. It is best managed at the state and local level where each state, county etc.. can decide what is best for its own kids.

Pride and Joy

November 7th, 2012
6:06 am

The national presidential election was about ONE issue, the ECONOMY.
Poll after poll revealed peopled voted for the candidate for FOR reason only — it’s the economy.
The election of re-election of President Obama (yes i voted early for him) says nothing about what people want in education. Education wasn’t on the voters minds. It was the economy. Read all the exit polls. Read the news. It’s the economy.
In Georgia and in Washington state, the charter amendments spoke to the voter concerns about education.

Bob

November 7th, 2012
6:13 am

Can Obama do for American schools what he did for Chicago schools ? I hope not, and that is the sad part of electing Obama. Chicago schools are pathetic for poor kids and Obama never made a dent in that situation. Obama and his ilk seem to think that giving away more free lunches is progress.

Fooksie

November 7th, 2012
6:25 am

I am disappointed. Disappointed that Obama gets another 4 years, disappointed that the charter school amendment passed,and disappointed that the people who voted to institute IE2 in Gwinnett County appear to have been re-elected.

No Dog in the Fight

November 7th, 2012
6:48 am

Saw this morning where an illegal immigrant can now apply for free financial aid in Maryland for tuition at the expense of the taxpayers. at least as georgians we havent gone that far to the left.

Bill Campbell

November 7th, 2012
6:52 am

There is and will continue to be a Divided States of America while the the Great Divider is in office! Don’t expect anything to happen as long as the President will not work across the aisle! Throwing money at the problems will never be the solutions!

catlady

November 7th, 2012
6:54 am

Depends on who the PRes starts to listen to. Hopefully, it will NOT be more of the same poor advice.

Larry

November 7th, 2012
6:59 am

Saw your headline. Yes, Obama won; but, education and the United States of America lost big. We may never recover from the damage the next four years will bring.

Alpharetta

November 7th, 2012
7:22 am

The President was running for office. Education was not. Had it been running, I would have voted it out of office. All of it. But, at least I could make it someone better by voting yes on the Charter Amendment. I guess we’re screwed at the federal level (watch jobs and investment fly out the door.) All the more reason we need more charter public schools. We sure can afford those expensive legacy public schools anymore. As a matter of fact, we probably can’t afford the pensions for past teachers and administrators. They’ll just have to get that from Obama welfare programs.

DunMoody

November 7th, 2012
7:28 am

To quote the press release: “Over the past four years, the Obama Administration fought to keep class sizes small, and protected more than 400,000 educator jobs.” Where exactly? Is the federal government taking credit for the few states with better fiscal management and prioritization of their education budgets? Obviously, not the case in Georgia.

Mountain Man

November 7th, 2012
7:38 am

What does the election of the US President have to do with Local education? Is Obama going to enforce attendance? Discipline? Is Obama going to test students to see if they really should go on to the next grade? Is he going to prevent social promotion? Is he going to pressure Congress to fund all the “unfunded mandates” that SPED has created? I don’t see anything that the President will do to solve the ills of education.

The Dixie Diarist

November 7th, 2012
7:45 am

Becoming educated is a state of mind: the student’s. Not the president’s. Becoming educated is always and ultimately up to the student and always will be … with a teacher’s help. I’ve never shut the door and started bloviating while thinking about what the government’s going to do to help me teach. Thanks, but I got it covered.

http://www.adixiediary.com

Who cares

November 7th, 2012
7:49 am

Do yourself a favor, if you have kids that attend a public school in Fulton county, pull them out. APS will NEVER have the credibility again after the cheating scandal!!!! What a joke the education system is in Atlanta! Teachers should be required to be tested to make sure they can teach! Another reason my child attends a private school!

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
8:37 am

Bankruptcy – coming to a country near you.

For all the left wingers crowing about a win, congrats. Congrats on helping destroy America financially. Taxes will massively increase on Jan 1 and you’ll be left wondering what happened.

Staying the Course

November 7th, 2012
8:43 am

Until our communities realize, legitimize and upgrade our technical skills/education, we will continue to stagnate under the guise of “service”. We have to re-learn how to make/manufacture and create value added products.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
8:46 am

“I have often thought that this election would be pivotal in the direction that our nation, and our world, would move in the 21st century because the choice of President Obama by the American people means that we as a race, a human race, are evolving toward greater consciousness of inclusion and egalitarianism in how we perceive one another.”

That makes zero sense. How can a president change the “thug-like” mentality in people who don’t care about education? Wake up, Mary. The biggest problem with education isn’t because education isn’t there. It’s because kids in schools don’t care and their parents are idiots.

Come on, argue against it. Tell me how awesome Obama is.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
8:48 am

“Saw this morning where an illegal immigrant can now apply for free financial aid in Maryland for tuition at the expense of the taxpayers.”

Yep, and the taxpayers don’t seem to care up there. In fact, the population in Maryland has fallen quite a bit since their governor raised taxes on higher income folks.

ATL Parent

November 7th, 2012
8:48 am

All I can say is that this president has inherited quite a mess! Lol.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
9:03 am

Who will the president blame when unemployment goes back up above 8%?

ATL Parent

November 7th, 2012
9:11 am

His predecessor. Oh wait. That’s him!

Private Citizen

November 7th, 2012
9:12 am

Marijuana Rules to take effect in 30 days:
Under the recreational marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington, personal possession of up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana would be legal for anyone at least 21 years of age. They also will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system modeled after a regime many states have in place for alcohol sales.

The Colorado measure will limit cultivation to six marijuana plants per person, but “grow-your-own” pot would be still be banned altogether in Washington state.
___________________

Meanwhile The U.S. Department of Justice reacted to the measure’s passage in Colorado by saying its enforcement policies remain unchanged, adding: “We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”
___________________

Centrist

November 7th, 2012
9:16 am

The biggest change in education in Georgia in a long time was easily passed yesterday. No mention here because Ms. Downey and the rest of the AJC opposed it. The AJC even put out a totally bogus poll ignoring the fact that the electorate was extremely in favor of the Amendment. Such an example of biased and poor reporting should not go unnoticed by the readership.

Brasstown

November 7th, 2012
9:16 am

Catlady,
Let’s hope.

Brasstown

November 7th, 2012
9:22 am

Centrist,
Amend 1 isn’t that big of a change; just a bad idea. You apparently missed the biggest change. It has been the gutting of funding for public education in Ga that’s been going on for the last 10 years.

Newt is nuts

November 7th, 2012
9:26 am

Maureen, if your regular readers are disturbed about the effect — or lack of one — on education by Obama’s re-election, they ought to click over to Jim Galloway’s Insider blog. There is going to be a lot of fireworks at the Capitol in January.

I don’t know who is right or wrong any more on the issue of education. And I’m always amazed at the politicians who think they know how to improve it.

To all the parents and all the teachers who care about what is happening — and not happening — I wish you the best of luck. Because luck is what you are all going to need.

Patrick

November 7th, 2012
9:27 am

The NEA supports Obama? Pot, meet kettle.

The NEA doesn’t care about the students. They are a teachers’ union in disguise, basically making it easier for teachers to get paid more, and helping the teachers more than the students.

If I was running things, there would be real teacher evaluations. I would have a four-step process.

First: Evaluation By Peers. Have fellow teachers evaluate each other. Ideally, have the teachers from one school in one district evaluate the teachers of another school, either in the same district, or a different district. Arrange it so that only a handful of teachers would be out of the classroom, so that the Board of Education wouldn’t be scrambling for substitutes.

Second: Evaluation By Subordinates. Who better to evaluate a teacher than their charges. The evaluation should be unbiased, and the evaluation form be formatted for a student. The principal could sit down with the students one-on-one, or else talk to the students in that teacher’s class, asking them for more feedback.

Third: Evaluation By Outside Source. Ideally for this part would be a parent of a student. It wouldn’t have to be the parent of a student in that teacher’s class; in fact, it would be best NOT to have the mother of little Becky or Johnny evaluating their Math teacher. Instead, have the parent of a student who has a different Math teacher evaluate that particular Math teacher.

Final Evaluation: As a two-part evaluation, a member of the BOE would take the other evaluations into account, also evaluate the class, and have a one-on-one interview with the teacher.

After all four evaluations, the teacher would find out if they keep their job, or should consider a different career.

Centrist

November 7th, 2012
9:30 am

Nice try, Brasstown. This blog has been all about Charter Schools for months. It was THE big deal. Coverage here was sometimes balanced, but there has been no doubt where Ms. Downey and the AJC stood. AJC biased articles and their “No” endorsement were much stronger than Ms. Downey’s opinion – and make no mistake this is an opinion blog just like Bookman, Galloway, Dupree, and Wingfield.

Not to mention the huge margin with which it passed, especially after the purposely bogus AJC poll just puts an exclamation point on the bias.

bootney farnsworth

November 7th, 2012
9:33 am

nobody won yesterday.

Private Citizen

November 7th, 2012
9:33 am

PS Where I live they’re spending huge amounts of local money to build another jail to put all the people that the police seize when they go through cars and find a little bit of dope. It’s like the local industry here. They already have one big modern jail and it is filled to overflowing. They also put all this attention on dope but seem to go light on the violent offenders. Often there are terrible local crimes and the perpetrator has a prior record of violent crime, i.e. long rap sheep, and has been released. It’s a weird political mix, like the violent crime is tolerated as some expression of freedom or something, and then the hammer is brought down on people with a little bit of dope. If they let up with some of this law enforcement fetish over dope, the would be more money for consistent modern and pleasant state of the art schools instead of prioritizing monies to build a sexy modern jail while many of the school buildings are dumpy, obsolete, worn out. Would be nice if schools and jails didn’t look so similar and someone actually got a concept of architecture and materials for school construction in place of concrete block with little twist on top. Was driving in the evening and saw a school looking building on the side of the road and said “My that looks handsome” and as I got closer I realized it was concrete block painted burgundy. At least the building was angled on the lot in an interesting way, as opposed to be parallel with the road.

Strange looking building, not the most insightful architecture. Looks weird what passes for architecture. “Make some round stuff and rectangles out of concrete.” Looks like someone spent all of 15 minutes with an autocad program designing the outside of this building. http://www.automatedlogic.com/img/photos/large/kennesaw-mountian-high-school-cobb-county-schools.jpg There are people who could put formal terms of analysis to this. Where real knowledge is taught, there are systems of analysis. Georgia schools are scared of teaching analytical thinking using correct terminology. It would change the control / power structure.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
9:35 am

Hey look, stocks plunge. I wonder why?

Stocks Drop at Open on ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ EU Fears

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49725783

Private Citizen

November 7th, 2012
9:42 am

Patrick Second: Evaluation By Subordinates. Who better to evaluate a teacher than their charges. The evaluation should be unbiased, and the evaluation form be formatted for a student.

They already do that, have kids evaluate teachers and then tie the teacher’s performance rating to what the kids says. That’s why teachers can’t stand Obama and his “Race To The Top.” So Patrick you think hormonally driven 12 year olds are capable of evaluating adults and are “neutral.” They’ve got third graders doing it, too. Welcome to “Obama Land.” I call it child abuse. For a teacher is these circumstances, there is little reason the challenge students. Safer to dumb them down and play nice all of the time 24/7/365. Practice customer service and make the counter worker at Dilliard’s your intellectual superior. Spray perfume. Secure you job. Provide for your family.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
9:46 am

“They already do that, have kids evaluate teachers and then tie the teacher’s performance rating to what the kids says.”

And people wonder why kids can’t complete a sentence or do simple math.

Private Citizen

November 7th, 2012
9:46 am

When managers can not evaluate workers, this is called dereliction of duty. In places where teaching schools have high standards, there is little emphasis on spending time and money evaluating teachers once they are trained. How is people want to fetishize teacher examination but do not go around and bug their dentists and doctors. Basically, teachers are not treated as professionals. They punch time clocks and toyed with by the public like an object of curiosity, a political play-toy. It is quite wearing. The term “Get a life” comes to mind. In other words, how about if you go and produce something. In teacher lingo, this is called “flipping the script.”

BT

November 7th, 2012
9:48 am

Public Education got a double whammy today…re-election of Obama and the charter schools admendment. Uncertain times in education and have been for years while the other countries pass us by!!

bootney farnsworth

November 7th, 2012
9:51 am

@ Patrick

most of what you’d do is already in place. its essentially useless since the state has built in so many loopholes it ignores results it doesn’t like. at least in higher education

#1: tenure is peer driven. problem is, administration can -and does-override faculty evaluations and opinions and grant it anyway. and administration can -and does- stack the deck of who sits on tenure committees. this ensures loyalities, patronage, and position.

also, once the committees begin to get stacked by admin, personal vendettas ensue. it reverts back to the 10th grade.

#2: subordinate evaluations are encouraged/required. I know of plenty of situations where faculty and staff turned in essentially no confidence evaluations on their superiors, and administration never did a thing about it. except to retaliate against some of the most strident critics.

#3: if you allow students to evaluate faculty, faculty will tailor results to make sure the students like them, not that the students learns learn anything. guarentee it.

#4: outside evalutions are done. we call them SACS evaluations. SACS evaluations are worse than useless. the BOE are the same group of idiots who let the local systems get in this level of disarray.

#5: the level of feedback you’d like would require the creation of several new postions to handle
the logistics. good principals are too busy, the bad ones too incompetent.

Phil from Athens

November 7th, 2012
9:53 am

Bye bye, America as we knew it.

Analysis: Victory puts Obama in position to expand government’s reach

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/07/us-usa-campaign-benchmark-idUSBRE8A60XY20121107

bootney farnsworth

November 7th, 2012
9:55 am

@ Peter S.

I don’t follow your logic. Obama destroyed the thing you cared most about and you put him back into office?

no disrespect, but that sounds like the logic of a battered wife.

indigo

November 7th, 2012
9:56 am

“Does education win too”

Not in Georgia, as Ammendment one passed and Christian fundamentalist parents are salavating at the chance to pack the school boards and force the new Charter schools to teach creationism and bash science.

bootney farnsworth

November 7th, 2012
10:03 am

at the end of the day, Obama or not, charters or not, here’s where we are:

-a legislature who is hostile towards all educational concerns not involving UGA.
-legislators who have as little respect towards us and our profession as we do for them.
-frozen wages, out of control administrations, and less than zero morale.
-disinterested, uninvolved parents.
-a society who puts more emhasis on race than education.
-shrinking state funding.
-growing federal mandates.
-hostile employee/employeer relations.
-no end of the above in sight

AlreadySheared

November 7th, 2012
10:07 am

Mountain Man

November 7th, 2012
10:50 am

“Where I live they’re spending huge amounts of local money to build another jail to put all the people that the police seize when they go through cars and find a little bit of dope. ”

The big question is: where did they get the money to buy that dope? Did they just use some of their cash from their hard work at a job? Or did they (more likely) use money from robbing someone, or burglarizing a house or car?