- He said there would be a $2500 college tuition tax credit. Great but here's this from MSN's Smart Money:
Still, not everyone goes to a for-profit college so it may help.
- He wants charters. Sigh. I personally don't like them mostly because of how unregulated they are depending on the state. I also don't like that because there is so much range in quality and offerings, charters are not any better than regular public schools. I can't see pouring money into another system if there are not across-the-board proven results (and this ties into something else he said). However, he and his Education Secretary, Arnie Duncan, have also said that they mean quality, success charter schools. How they can enact that state-to-state is hard to say.
- The tie-in to helping programs that work is that Obama said he and his team are going through every program to find savings and they will cut programs that don't work (bye-bye NCLB?). So I would take that to mean they will support charter programs that ARE successful and not just anyone who says, "Hey kids, let's open a school."
- He wants to give teachers who do well bonuses. He said it this way:
(I'm going to play devil's advocate here so this is not necessarily what I think.) If you look at almost any industry, people get bonuses for good work (awards, grants, whatever you want to call it). Somehow teachers are fearful of this. But everyone's work gets examined so why not teachers? On the other hand, teachers are charged with teaching kids from across the spectrum and who have issues or life situations that the teacher can do absolutely nothing about. Maybe teaching IS very different from other occupations. I'm on the fence here.
- He got major applause for this line:
It's a little echo of Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you" line. With Obama in office (and his backstory which is not one of wealth or privilege), it might help for kids to be told that giving up on school hurts more than just themselves.