Obama’s School Reforms Are a Priority – JOEL I. KLEIN, MICHAEL LOMAX AND JANET MURGUíA

A team of heavy educational hitters co-wrote a piece published July 15th in the WSJ in response to Obama’s educational reform efforts amended by the House. Obama has threatened veto.

In their words, the amendment:

“takes away $800 million that has already been committed to three critical parts of the president’s education reform package—Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and the Charter Schools Program. This breaks a promise to the states, districts and schools that are doing the most important work in America.”

The money would instead be used to prevent teacher layoffs, another controversial issue New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein frequently discusses:

“We fully support the goal of saving teachers’ jobs, but this is not the way to do it. No one is more committed to high-quality public education than our teachers. But without reform, they will be trapped in a system that has long been frustrating their best efforts, and failing our children.”


Whitney Tilson, a leader of school reform and Vice Chairman of KIPP Academy Charter Schools, wrote the next day on his blog that he finds the amendment unacceptable even with a few added changes proposed by the Senate:

“I’ve just gotten word that the Senate is planning to do something better than the Obey bill passed in the House, but still terrible: while not cutting Race to the Top money, it would cut $100 million from charters (money appropriated last year) and $100 million from the Teacher Incentive Fund (also last year’s yet unspent money), a total of $200 million in cuts toward the $10 billion jobs bill, which is almost a rounding error.”

Mr. Tilson recommends reaching out to your local senator by phone or using this online form.

The STC Network is composed of all types of schools. How is your school handling the uncertainty of the bill? How would you like to see the money used?