House of Representatives and the U. Senate At a time when both chambers were intensely polarized and a bitter presidential election loomed, this kind of bipartisan agreement on a major piece of legislation was striking. While these efforts to strengthen teacher quality and accountability did not work as intended, they may still generate important benefits for the field. The law that resulted was a funny compromise — it held the promise of keeping the core components of the transparency that marked the Bush-Obama years, while rejecting many of the excesses that had been grafted onto NCLB.
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It required states to collect, disaggregate, and report performance data. It required states to identify troubled schools and do something about them. But it backed away from the presumption that Washington should drive what these efforts look like. In short, what resulted from 15 years of stumbling and sniping was something that looked a lot like a principled, sensible compromise, reflecting concerns that had long been widespread among both Republicans and Democrats but which had been steamrolled by ebullience and enthusiasm when NCLB was first written.
This bipartisanship was, in effect, another happy accident: Overly ambitious efforts by well-meaning officials fueled a backlash.
President Obama’s Remarks to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
While the reforms of the Bush-Obama years resulted in some happy accidents, they also featured accidental outcomes that were far less fortuitous, such as encouraging educators to subvert their testing and accountability systems and provoking hostility to the Common Core. Bush- and Obama-era supporters of test-based accountability dramatically underestimated how difficult it would be to make these systems work and how tempting it would be for schools, districts, and states to subvert them.
In , the PDK poll reported that two-thirds of Americans favored having all 50 states administer the same standardized achievement tests. And in fact, after the standards were finalized in , they were quickly adopted by more than 40 states. What happened? There were a slew of unintended consequences related to how the standards were adopted typically by state boards of education, with little public input , redefined as a quasi-federal initiative when the Obama administration offered enthusiastic support via Race to the Top and its waivers from No Child Left Behind , and implemented.
Today, most states still have the Common Core standards or something similar in place; however, thanks to the public backlash against the initiative, its advocates have been frustrated on many of the larger shifts they envisioned. A surfeit of energetic, impassioned support actually wound up compromising and politicizing the Common Core, and limiting its impact.
Talk about your unhappy accidents.
There is much to be learned from the unintended consequences — good and bad — of the Bush-Obama years. The American educational system is sprawling, diverse, and complex. It sits within a political system that itself is sprawling, diverse, and complex. In turn, that system sits within an American culture that is also sprawling, diverse, and complex. These are not design flaws.
They represent — for good and bad — the true face of American democracy after more than two centuries of evolution. Our pride, stubbornness, and anguish over sunk costs can cause us to overlook promising developments. But if our educational system resembles a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside of a mystery, then it must be extraordinarily difficult to predict how reforms will unspool.
Thus, reformers should be open to serendipity and value its gifts. A strategy such as test-based accountability or teacher evaluation may not work as intended, but it may, nonetheless, produce invaluable tools for evaluation and research — and proponents should take great care to recognize and protect those gains, so that they are not lost in the course of an all-or-nothing defense of the initial strategy. Small victories can emerge from unexpected sources, which means that would-be reformers should be nimble, open to surprises, and willing to shift gears when necessary.
Of course, this is easier said than done. No matter how pure our motives or brilliant our theory of action, we do well to recognize that school reforms rarely work as intended, and they sometimes only serve to make matters worse. More often than not, students, teachers, and administrators react and behave in unexpected ways, or political forces and real-world dynamics interfere with our carefully designed plans.
In the case of test-based teacher evaluation and the Common Core, advocates dug in their heels and kept insisting that their ambitious plans made sense — even as those reforms began to face practical challenges and backlash. Further, because policy makers attached timelines to these initiatives, state leaders felt compelled to charge forward, whatever the obstacles, and they were loath to make course corrections for fear of missing benchmarks or breaking promises.
Over time, they became more and more preoccupied with tweaking their messages and securing short-term political wins, rather than addressing significant problems or trying to understand the growing opposition to their policies. When advocates build a head of steam behind a particular school reform, they may be reluctant to slow down, acknowledge concerns, and address obvious problems.
At the risk of complicating the takeaway from Lesson 1, we would argue that at least one of the unintended consequences of the Bush and Obama years was, in fact, predictable: When high stakes such as the decision to close a school or fire a teacher are attached to specific metrics, people will try to manipulate those metrics.
Chavous among the group's co-founders. Gloria Romero leads the group's California chapter. Ron Tupa is a staff member for the group. Cory Booker is on the group's board of advisors. The group is led by former journalist Joe Williams,  who covered Oakland , California 's school system. Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization that covers education, has called the group "a national pro-charter advocacy group.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Palgrave Macmillan. After two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, from which he graduated in with a degree in political science. Despite tight Republican control during his years in the state senate, Obama was able to build support among both Democrats and Republicans in drafting legislation on ethics and health care reform. He helped create a state earned-income tax credit that benefited the working poor, promoted subsidies for early childhood education programs and worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.
Re-elected in and again in , Obama also ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the U.
Obama Outlines Plan for Education Overhaul - The New York Times
House of Representatives seat held by the popular four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. As a state senator, Obama notably went on record as an early opponent of President George W. When Republican Peter Fitzgerald announced that he would vacate his U.
Senate seat in after only one term, Obama decided to run. He won 52 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, defeating both multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes. After his original Republican opponent in the general election, Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race, the former presidential candidate Alan Keyes stepped in.
Senate since Reconstruction. During his tenure, Obama notably focused on issues of nuclear non-proliferation and the health threat posed by avian flu. He partnered with another Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana , on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. In August , Obama traveled to Kenya, where thousands of people lined the streets to welcome him. He published his second book, The Audacity of Hope, in October On February 10, , Obama formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States.
A victory in the Iowa primary made him a viable challenger to the early frontrunner, the former first lady and current New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whom he outlasted in a grueling primary campaign to claim the Democratic nomination in early June Obama chose as his running mate Joseph R.
Biden Jr. Biden had been a U. They worked to bring new voters—many of them young or black, both demographics they believed favored Obama—to become involved in the election.