The Fordham guys find reasons to cheer Barack Obama’s election:
1. In a year when the Democratic nominee was practically guaranteed to win the White House, the most reform-minded Democratic candidate won. While his education policies are inchoate and imperfect, Barack Obama’s positions on charter schools, merit pay, and even No Child Left Behind point toward a thoughtfulness and willingness to buck the status quo that were strikingly different from the postures of his closest competitors.
2. Support from the teacher unions was not essential to Obama’s sweeping victory and frees him — if he’s so inclined — to advance policies and programs that they don’t love, perhaps starting with charter schools (one of the few issues enjoying bipartisan support during this election).
On the other hand, education won’t be a top priority issue in 2009, they write, and it will be tough to buy education reform with new money.
Somewhat off topic, but I love The Onion’s story:
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, “It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can’t catch a break.”
OK, more than one other person applied.