March 9, 2012
Obama on Ed Reform in SD… don't defend the status quo
As the SDEA announces plans to take HB1234 to the voters this November, I remember listening to President Obama's State of the Union address last month thinking…. sounds like he would have voted for HB1234 in a heartbeat.
At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies – just to make a difference.
Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. (Applause.) And in return, grant schools flexibility: to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making. (Applause.)
Obama said, instead of "defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal"… 1. Incentives to attract and keep good teachers. (Applause.) 2. Reward the best teachers. (Applause.) 3. Grant schools flexibility. (Applause.) 4. Boot the bad teachers. (Applause.)
It's almost spooky how closely those comments parallel HB1234. Furthermore, he acknowledges tight budgets have forced states to cut teacher funding. Yet the narrative here in SD is that the funding was cut because Republicans hate teachers.