Day 9: Obama Chooses Political Allies Over Education Reforms

“Senator Obama continues to present himself as an education reformer but that reputation is completely undeserved. Despite his rhetoric, Obama has blocked even obvious reforms, such as school choice and vouchers, and is more concerned with teachers’ unions than students,” says David Freddoso, political reporter and author of the new bestseller The Case Against Barack Obama

Over the next few days, we will explore Senator Obama’s position on three issues dominating today’s headlines—energy, education, and Eastern Europe.  Yesterday we brought you energy.  Today we present his education record.

Education is one of Senator Barack Obama’s favorite talking points. He writes about how education can change a child’s life—and how it has changed his own. Sadly for the kids in Illinois, Obama’s words don’t match his track record, according to David Freddoso, author of The Case Against Barack Obama.

In The Audacity of Hope, Senator Obama identifies shortened school days due to lack of funding as a problem in education. But, he never reveals that Chicago students, who go to school for only five and a half hours a day, have the shortest school day of any major city thanks to the Chicago Teachers’ Union, which has refused to lengthen teachers’ school days. Obama not only accepted CTU’s endorsement, but he never tried to change or even speak out against the devastating policies of the CTU. “Senator Obama does not say or do anything about this problem because his political allies are the problem,” says Freddoso.

Obama offers only rhetoric about a merit-based pay scheme for teachers,  but then assures his supporters that those will not be decided by “arbitrary tests,” but by some other undecided scale that the teachers union will choose. He never supported classroom discipline reforms and even voted against a bill that would force unruly students to complete suspensions before they can enroll in another district.

Barack Obama put the interest and well-being of friends and supporters before his city’s own school children. Americans need a leader who will take on entrenched bureaucracies for the benefit of average Americans—not pay lip-service to our problems, and then block any meaningful reform.  For his education policy track record, Barack Obama receives an “F.”