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ERIC Number: ED535494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Turning the Tides: President Obama and Education Reform. Education Outlook. No. 6
McShane, Michael Q.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The fact that president Barack Obama is an African American Democrat with a background working with poor communities has equipped him to confront teachers unions and other special interest groups in a way most other leaders have not been able to. A nearly insurmountable subgovernment in public education--labeled an "iron triangle" by political scientists--has historically resisted reform and increased school costs, failing to improve school performance. President Obama has successfully challenged this gridlock, namely through the Race to the Top initiative and his blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Although there are limitations to Obama's education agenda, most notably embodied in his unrestricted stimulus dollars to states and districts, he has signaled that a popular Democratic president does not have to do what is most favorable to teachers unions to secure their votes. Regardless of whether President Obama's reforms live up to their hype, his challenging of common assumptions about reformers and what they strive to accomplish will have long-term positive effects on the US education debate. (Contains 29 notes.)
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top