deliver some clear, unambiguous, detailed statements on issues. I can read his speeches there. Right at the top of the page, without even clicking on the whole speech, a line pops out that makes me shudder:
What if we tackled our biggest problems by using data-driven strategies, instead of conventional wisdom, or the way weve always done it?
While it's a great sound bite, it's also uses a phrase that has been used as a privatization weapon for public education...I know, because I've been dealing with the destructive policies that phrase drives in my profession for more than a decade, and it gets worse every year. "Data-driven strategies" is a phrase used to reduce students to test score data and teachers to numbers crunchers.
When I click on the speech itself, he begins promoting "data-driven government" in his opening lines.
Now don't mistake me. I'm not "anti-data." I'm anti-misuse and abuse of data for political purposes, and after being under attack by exactly that for more than a decade, I don't take the phrase "data-driven" at face value any more. It pushes all of my alarm buttons.
This from "on the issues" also concerns me; the bolding is mine:
The rise of global markets has undermined the ability of national governments to control their own economies. The answer is neither global laissez faire nor protectionism but a Third Way: New international rules and institutions to ensure that globalization goes hand in hand with higher living standards, basic worker rights, and environmental protection. U.S. leadership is crucial in building a rules-based global trading system as well as international structures that enhance worker rights and the environment without killing trade. For example, instead of restricting trade, we should negotiate specific multilateral accords to deal with specific environmental threats.
Goals for 2010
Conclude a new round of trade liberalization under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.
Open the WTO, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund to wider participation and scrutiny.
Strengthen the International Labor Organizations power to enforce core labor rights, including the right of free association.
Launch a new series of multinational treaties to protect the world environment.
This is what I got on education; a mixed bag. Some sounds good, others raise red flags for this teacher; red flags bolded:
Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.
To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming public schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.
As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers. Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their childrens education.
We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds to private schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.
Goals for 2010
Turn around every failing public school. (Using Chicago's privatization language...ugh.)
Make charter schools an option in every state and community.
Offer every parent a choice of public schools to which to send his or her child.
Make sure every classroom has well-qualified teachers who know the subjects they teach, and pay teachers more for performance. (Merit pay based on test scores)
Create a safe, clean, healthy, disciplined learning environment for every student.
Make pre-kindergarten education universally available.
I'll be paying attention. At this point, I'm not embracing him. I'm not comfortable at this point with the number of red flags.
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