Grading the President: With Race to the Top, Obama earns a B+ in ed reform

Glazer, Nathan. "Grading the President: With Race to the Top, Obama earns a B+ in ed reform." Review of President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political by Robert Maranto and Michael Q. McShane, Education Next, Fall 2012.

Excerpt: This book, and this review, will be published while the presidential campaign is in full swing, and whether there will be anything more to be said about President Obama’s efforts at education reform, still fragmentary now, depends on the outcome of the election. President Obama and Education Reform was written when there was really only half a presidential term to evaluate: after the midterm elections of 2010, there was nothing the administration could do that was in any way dependent on Congress, and even the long-delayed effort to reauthorize the primary basis of the federal role in education, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it was clear, would have to be delayed further, perhaps to the next administration.

Nevertheless, there is still a story to be told, and the essential part of it is that the program that education reformers have tried to promote now for decades—introduce more choices of schools for students, enable competition among schools, open up paths for preparing teachers and administrators outside schools of education, improve measures of student achievement and teacher competence, enable administrators to act on the basis of such measures, and limit the power of teachers unions—has been advanced under the Obama administration, in the judgment of authors Maranto and McShane.

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