In a new research paper, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) education expert Michael McShane assesses President Obama's record on education reform, and explains how, in a 'Nixon goes to China' fashion, he has stood up to teachers unions.
With Rahm Emanuel (Mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s former WH chief of staff) engaged in a show down with the striking Chicago Teachers Union, McShane’s new report offers the following timely insights
• Obama's unique position: President Obama’s unique status as an African American Democrat hailing from a large urban center with a history in community organizing has allowed him to tackle education reform in a way that others before him could not.
• Throwing down the gauntlet: By promoting reforms involving school choice, teacher performance data, teacher evaluation, and a widening teacher pipeline, President Obama has fundamentally challenged entrenched special interest groups such as teachers unions, which have had a historically outsized influence on education policymaking.
• Dems v. Unions: New normal of education politics? Obama's education initiatives mark a significant pivot in the Democratic Party's position on education that will have lasting impact on the landscape of education politics.
Michael McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI and the author of the forthcoming book President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2012). He is available for interviews and can be reached at [email protected] or through [email protected] (202.862.5904).
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