A few days ago I urged the President to shift education upward on the national agenda. Now it appears that he had already anticipated the upset in Massachusetts and was beginning to make the grand pivot even before election day. Putting another billion dollars into RttT is step one, but the bigger step is to reauthorize No Child Left Behind (by another name of course). According to the latest National Journal account, that is now on the table.
Eric Hanushek has just conducted a study that says it would be worth better than a trillion dollars annually to the industrialized world if it raised its test scores to Finland-like levels over the next 20 years. If Obama really wants a stimulus package that is more than a short-term political fix, education is where he needs to go.
It’s good the president is getting the message. Let’s hope he finds the right education reform strategy, because the payoff could be much bigger than even most optimists believe.