How Barack Obama's Education Policies May Lose Him the 2012 Election
Many supporters of Barack Obama have been reluctant to support the initiative, organized entirely by teachers, to remove Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education for fear it might compromise Barack Obama's 2012 Election campaign. In fact, the reverse is true. This campaign, if successful, might save the Obama campaign from a loss of several key states dues to indifference or hostility to the ticket on the part of the nation's public school teachers, all 4 million of them.
Those who disagree me with might say that the nation's largest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association. have both endorsed President Obama and plan to campaign for him vigorously in 2012. But that endorsement covers over a simmering discontent with the Administration's education policies among the membership of these two organizations that even their leaders had to acknowledge in their press releases. But this discontent is not merely passive. It has risen to the level of a deep seated rage in many teachers that will prevent them from campaigning for the President unless there is a relaxation of Administration pressure to rate teachers on the basis of student test scores or create charter schools. And it is particularly significant in the swing states. I am in regular contact with teachers in Florida, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arizona, Ohio, Washington, and Michigan, who will boycott the Obama campaign unless Arne Duncan is removed as Secretary of Education. Since the margin of victory in these states at best will be small, their refusal to join the campaign, support it financially, and even go to the polls, could swing those states into the Republican camp.
This is still an avoidable outcome. Many of those teachers campaigned enthusiastically for the President in 2012 and would be glad to do so again if the President wasn't supporting policies that undermine their best practices and subject them to public attacks. But as long as Arne Duncan is Secretary of Education, that will not happen
So if any of you are close to the Obama brain trust, you might pass my words of advice along.
America's teachers are a sleeping giant, and you do not want to be the object of their wrath when they awaken.