NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Three Reasons Obama's Education Vision Fails

October 11, 2010

President Barack Obama is making his bid to be "the education president," yet Obama's education vision deserves an F, says Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of and

In a new video, Gillespie gives three reasons for Obama's failing grade:

Money talks. 

  • Obama says that the educational system needs new ideas and more money.
  • Despite a doubling in inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending since the early 1970s, student achievement is flat at best.
  • While he brags constantly about his Race to the Top initiative, in which states competed for $4 billion to fund innovative programs, he's spent more than $80 billion in no-strings-attached stimulus funds to maintain the educational status quo.

Choice cuts.

  • Candidate Obama said that he'd try any reform idea regardless of ideology.
  • Yet one of his first education-related moves after taking office was to aid his Senate mentor, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), in killing a successful and popular D.C. voucher program that let low-income residents exercise the same choice Obama did in sending his daughters to private school.

The unions forever.

  • The two largest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association (NEA), overwhelmingly supported Obama with their votes and their contributions.
  • Some 95 percent of the groups' campaign contributions go to Democratic candidates and the NEA spends more money on elections than Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Walmart and the AFL-CIO combined.
  • No wonder Obama's big talking point is that he wants to add 10,000 more teachers to public payrolls despite the fact that there are already more teachers per student than ever.

Source: Lisa Snell, "Three Reasons Obama's Education Vision Fails," Reason Foundation, October 7, 2010.

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