Today, the Boston Globe has an editorial lauding Barack Obama’s latest statement on education reform. They praise him for daring to challenge the teacher’s unions and championing programs such as charter schools.
OK, let’s be honest. That’s not so much as “challenging” the unions. It’s more sticking one toe across their party line.
The problem I have here is that we’ve already seen Obama’s attempts at education reform. For seven years, he sat on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (four as its head) and oversaw the spending of over $100 million on improving the city’s schools — and, in the end, achieved nothing:
This study examined whether the Chicago Annenberg Challenge promoted improvement in schools it supported and in student achievement and other outcomes; factors that might explain improvement or lack thereof among Annenberg schools; and what could be learned from the Challenge’s experiences. It highlighted the period between 1996-1997 through 2000-2001. Results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.
In other words, he was an utter failure at reforming Chicago’s schools. So let’s have him try to clean up the nation’s schools!
Why? Because we Hope he’s Changed.