Saturday, April 3, 2010

Barack Obama: The Education President? Not necessarily

(Part V in a series on education in the 21st century.) I voted for President Obama. Filled with the excitement and hope represented by his progressive ideas, I looked forward to what he had to offer the American people. Tempering that enthusiasm, however, was the realization that campaign promises often run into that nefarious obstacle called “governing.” I did not expect Mr. Obama to reveal red and blue tights under his suit come Inauguration Day, and I realized that many of his goals would take time to accomplish. I was disappointed in his choice for Tom Vilsack to lead the Department of Agriculture,  and was struck by the irony of that appointment when juxtaposed with the organic garden in the White House lawn. I became less enthusiastic when Arne Duncan took the reigns as Secretary of Education. Once again, the person who was given the responsibility for education in our country had never spent a day in the classroom as an educator. (The very fact that his Department of Education biography describes his position with the Chicago Public Schools as “CEO” instead of “superintendent” is telling.)

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