I have intentionally remained quiet on this blog lately because of all of the election rhetoric that is clogging both my facebook and rss feeds. Well, that and I defended my prospectus this week and have been unable to string a coherent thought together. However, with the defense out of the way and my brain able to process other things, I feel like I need to say my piece here… and then leave it alone.
I’ll be transparent. I’m voting for Obama. But I refuse to turn this post into an uncritical liberal rant about how awful one candidate is and how awesome another one is. When it comes right down to it, both men are human, and both are flawed. Their ed policies are a prime example of this truth.
As this fact sheet from USC notes, Obama and Romney’s policies are not very different. They both support charters. They both want to change teacher evaluation to be at least partially dependent on student achievement as measured by students’ performance on “objective tests.” However, Obama is definitely the lesser of two evils when it comes to ed policy. Check out this graphic from USC’s fact sheet:
Romney, in true businessman fashion, trusts our economic system (you know, the broken one) so much that he will turn over low-interest government college loans to private banks, won’t regulate diploma mills like University of Pheonix and the millions of other examples of rip-off higher education institutions, and will potentially push a revision of NCLB that will be “more transparent” (for the record, NCLB was pretty transparent already — every school in America will fail by 2014. The end.).
He also hopes to eliminate “unnecessary certification requirements” for teachers, and while I don’t know what that means exactly, I can guess. My bet is that this will enable unqualified, untrained individuals to become teachers through alternative certification routes (that will be even easier to move through than TFA) and that it will cause schools of education, which are already struggling with enrollment, to suffer even more. As a strong advocate for quality teacher education, the rant for which is an entirely separate blog post, I can’t vote for someone who is even more willing than Obama to turn our nation’s schools over to the private sector.
So while I don’t like some of Obama’s education policies, I like all of them better than Romney’s, and I found this fact sheet a helpful way to compare the candidates on an issue that has remained in the shadows throughout this process.
And that is the only thing I will post about the election.