President Obama’s Biggest Failing in Two Terms: Hint, It’s Not Health Care

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via Care 2 Make a Difference

“You lost a lot more than me,” Mr. President. “You just lost my vote.”

Annette Bening’s perfectly-delivered line during a climactic moment in the movie, The American President, is one that should resonate with President Obama, as tens of thousands of angry teachers in around America continue to be outraged by published teacher rankings, based on standardized test results

I’m certain that I speak for many of my colleagues when I say that the blame for this must fall squarely at the feet of President Barack Obama. After all, a monstrous $5 billion of Obama’s last education budget was intended to “tie teacher pay to performance.” Don’t assume for a second that “performance” means how well teachers actually teach. This is all about standardized testing — something Obama suggested he’d fix, while campaigning the first time he ran for president.

Being kind, I’d say Obama has fallen short of his goal of fixing No Child Left Behind. Being accusatory, I’d say that Obama has flat-out lied.

If anything, during Obama’s presidency, American education has gotten much worse than it was when he arrived. Not only are we still stuck with the monster that is high stakes testing, now teachers are being judged by this insidious data, which even most people outside of the profession realize is nothing short of illogical.

I proudly supported Barack Obama four years ago. I even campaigned for him. When things were going poorly his first couple of years in office, I defended him. Enough is finally enough. I can no longer support a president who has turned his back on education. I can’t defend a purportedly-intelligent man, who wasn’t smart enough to hire an educator to run his education department.

I can’t stand by a leader who values numbers over people.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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