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ERIC Number: EJ978469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun-13
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Obama Uses Funding, Executive Muscle to Make Often-Divisive Agenda a Reality
Klein, Alyson
Education Week, v31 n35 p1, 26-28 Jun 2012
Back in 2008, it wasn't clear just where candidate Barack Obama's heart lay when it came to the big issues facing schools. Although Mr. Obama had been a community organizer, a law professor, and a state legislator, the junior U.S. senator from Illinois didn't have a long record on K-12 issues, and he rarely spoke about them in his presidential campaign. His advisers included voices from all parts of a Democratic Party bitterly divided on such issues as teacher quality and the role of high-stakes tests. Some moments hinted at what was to come--such as his expression of support for performance pay for teachers, which was met with boos from the National Education Association. But no one knew for sure just how ambitious Mr. Obama intended to be on K-12 policy if elected. Now, as President Obama prepares to face the electorate again, there's little question of where he stands on some of the most hotly debated issues--and little doubt that, if re-elected, he plans to stick with his education redesign agenda. Fueled by economic-stimulus money and his own executive authority, Mr. Obama's initiatives--including No Child Left Behind Act waivers and the launch of grant competitions such as Race to the Top--have pressed states and districts to: (1) Hold individual teachers more accountable for the performance of their students on standardized tests; (2) Remove restrictions on the growth of charter schools; (3) Take aggressive action to turn around their lowest-performing schools; and (4) Adopt common academic standards intended to prepare students for college and the workforce, bolstered by federal aid to help states develop common assessments. It's a record of action that, while divisive, rivals that of President George W. Bush in securing passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2001. Mr. Obama has forged his own path when it comes to the federal role in education, using funding and competitive pressure to prod states and school districts into embracing the administration's vision for education policy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top