Friday, November 23, 2007
Obama's big education plan is out
(Obama at a New Hampshire high school.)
I suppose you could say he is shooting for the moon.
In a speech earlier this week, Barack Obama laid out an $18 billion education plan that he has been hinting about for weeks.
And delaying NASA's return to the moon is one way he hopes to raise the money to pay for his proposals.
There is a "mend it, don't end it" theme to the plan, which calls for keeping the required testing of No Child Left Behind but wants to find "more accurate" ways to assess students that don't depend entirely on standardized tests.
On teacher pay, he favors expirimenting with merit pay and "hazard pay" or paying teachers extra for taking on more challenging assignments. These are ideas that the nation's largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, opposes. But NEA president Reg Weaver is quoted in a USA Today story saying Obama's plan did not alarm him.
Obama also proposes expanded federal aid for early childhood programs and money to support longer school days for schools that want to try that approach.
To pay for the plan, Obama wants to close a tax loophole on CEO pay and delay NASA missions to the moon and to Mars. He argues that we won't have the engineers and scientists to make those missions go some day if we don't invest the money in education now.
If you follow the USA Today story link above, you can download Obama's speech on education.
The post also appears on my education blog, Get on the Bus.
(Image credit: Getty Images)