Yes, we can do charter schools - Macleans.ca

Yes, we can do charter schools

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This should answer those questions about whether Obama’s a socialist.

Obama Outlines Plan for Education Overhaul

President Obama called for sweeping changes in American education on Tuesday, urging states to lift limits on charter schools and improve the quality of early childhood education while also signaling that he intends to make good on his campaign promise of linking teacher pay to performance…

The president said it was time to erase limits on the number of charter schools, which his administration calls “laboratories of innovation,” while closing those that are not working. He said 26 states and the District of Columbia now had caps….

Putting limits on charter schools, even in places where they are performing well, “isn’t good for our children, our economy or our country,” Mr. Obama said.

In his recent budget message, he said that he hoped to double financing for charter schools eventually, another campaign promise, and that the Department of Education would help create “new, high-quality charter schools” while supporting the closing of those guilty of “chronic underperformance.”

He called on states to impose tougher curriculum standards, and in an echo of language often used by President George W. Bush, he chided states that he said were “low-balling expectations for our kids.”

Saying he would “cultivate a new culture of accountability in America’s schools,” Mr. Obama said states and school districts should weed out bad teachers.

Charter schools? Merit pay? Closing bad schools? Tougher standards? What kind of wacko, right-wing, Bushoid propaganda is this? In certain parts of this country, you can’t so much as say the words “charter schools” without being hounded into oblivion. Only it’s Obama saying it, so it’s okay.

Are you listening, Ontario Conservatives? You have just been given permission to have another go at education reform. Only this time get it right.