Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Excuse me, Mr. Obama?

Want to know what a presidential candidate thinks about No Child Left Behind? Here's a way to find out that's not as hard as you might think this early in the campaign -- walk up to them at a campaign stop and ask.

That's exactly what Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation did. Petrilli gives play-by-play of his interaction with Obama in Fordam's weekly online newsletter The Gadfly.

Petrilli was on vacation in New Hampshire when he spotted a flyer for an Obama whistle stop nearby. So he went.

Obama took a couple shots at NCLB in his speech and afterward Petrilli got in a line to meet the candidate. Minutes later, he was face-to-face with Obama and asked what he would do to make NCLB better?

Petrilli said Obama sized him up and said his goal would be to improve the education law by getting "buy in" from teachers. He spends the rest of his essay detailing the reasons why "teacher buy in" is, in his view, the wrong thing for Obama to be focused on, equating teacher buy in to teacher union buy in. Check it out.

Note: This post also appears on my education blog, Get on the Bus

(Image credit: Chicago Tribune)

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