"Now, I don't believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children...."
Hm, seems like lots of people are providing decent educations for their children without the government's help. If my kids' recent standardized test scores are any indication - and I don't think test scores are the best indicator of learning, but people in the government school systems seem to think so - we are doing just fine, thanks. Beyond fine.
Real change is finally giving our kids everything they need to have a fighting chance in today's world. That begins with recognizing that the single most important factor in determining a child's achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from; it's not who their parents are or how much money they have. It's who their teacher is.
Of course this was from a speech to the American Federation of Teachers. And he has to be sure to get their votes, so what else could he say?
Quotes stolen from Spunky Homeschool, but seen lots of places.
Also, see Semicolon's Monday's List: Obama in his own words
Update: More of that speech to the AFT:
In fact, his [McCain's]
Real change is finally giving our kids everything they need to have a fighting chance in today's world. That begins with recognizing that the single most important factor in determining a child's achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from; it's not who their parents are or how much money they have. It's who their teacher is. It's the paraprofessionals and support staff and all of you in this room. It's those who spend their own money on books and supplies, come early and stay late comparing lesson plans, who devote their lives to our next generation and serve as role models for the children who need one most because you believe that's what makes the extra difference. And it does. After all, I have two daughters. I know what their teachers mean to them.
Note that his two daughters do not attend public school (from ABCNews Political Radar):
The elite charter school (Chicago Lab School) costs between $15,000 to $20,000 a year in tuition. Michelle Obama currently sits on the board.
Now I don't really care if politicians and other wealthy people send their kids to private school. I don't begrudge them that privilege. But I don't like it when they complain about others abandoning the public school system when they have done just that. Of course people who send their kids to private school, or homeschool them, still support the local schools with their tax money. But, obviously the Obamas have a lot more financial flexibility than the people he claims to want to help.
But then there's this: why would we expect him to be comfortable with the idea of kids learning from their parents and not from state-approved teachers? Why would we think a President Obama would want homeschoolers teaching something other than the government line?
Am I getting paranoid? I am more than willing to be wrong on this.