Obama’s Education Policy
President Obama has called for sweeping changes in the American education system. He is trying to make good on his promise to link teacher pay to performance. He also has a soft spot for charter schools, which he calls “laboratories of innovation”, and intends to double financing for those.
“For decades, Washington has been trapped in the same stale debates that have paralyzed progress and perpetuated our educational decline,” Mr. Obama said, in a speech here to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom. Too many in the Republican Party have opposed new investments in early childhood education, despite compelling evidence of its importance.”
Below are just a few of the promises and plans Obama has made to revamp the educational system in the US:
- Zero to Five Plan: This plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood plans, this plan puts an emphasis on early care in order to provide children with a large platform for kindergarten.
- Expand Head Start Programs: Obama will quadruple Early Head Start funding and increase Head Start funding.
- Provide accessible child care: Obama will increase access to affordable and high-quality child care to working families.
- Reform to No Child Left Behind Act: Obama will begin by increasing funding. Teachers will not have to teach children how to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. In an individualized manner, children’s progress will be assessed on math, reading, and science in order to prepare for college. Improvement will be made in NCLB’s accountability system so that we are supporting failing schools, not punishing them.
- Charter Schools: Obama will double funding for charter schools. This will provide funding only to states that improve accountability for charter schools, allow for interventions in charter schools, and have a clear process for closing down failing charter schools.
- Math and Science: Obama will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession.
- Address Drop-out Rates: Obama will provide funding for intervention strategies in middle schools. Implementing programs such as; personal academic plans, teaching terms, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instructions, and extended learning time.
- Expand After School Programs: Obama will double funding for after school programs; reaching 1 million more families.
- Support College Outreach Programs: Obama supports outreach programs that encourage and support children from low income families to prepare for college.
- Support College Credit Incentives: Obama plans to create a national “Make College A Reality” incentive that has a goal of to increase students taking AP or college-level classes nationwide 50% by 2016