Charter members

September 11, 2008

Here’s an issue I agree with Barack Obama on:

 Barack Obama is promising to double funding for charter schools and replace inferior teachers, embracing education reform proposals normally more popular with Republican candidates.

The Democratic presidential nominee says both parties must work together to improve education, according to remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday at a suburban high school gymnasium. The pitch was an appeal to moderate voters in this presidential election swing state, where the fight over education reform has been the focus of a longtime partisan battle.

Not sure about the federal funding; state-sponsored charters seem like a better idea. But charters are a way to experiment with school choice — freeing public schools from the rules that inhibiit experimentation — without going the full “public funding for private schools” route that seems to freak so many people out. You’d think the teachers’ unions would favor the charter option, since it keeps choice within the confines of public education, but that hasn’t been the case.

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