Friday, December 9, 2011

Is Gingrich an Edu-Flip-Flopper?

This from Politics K-12:
The GOP's presidential frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, has one of the longest records on K-12 policy in the Republican field. His views on education have gotten a lot of attention lately. But they have been—and seem to still be—all over the map.

For instance, Gingrich said in a recent debate that he likes Race to the Top, the grant competition run by the feds that rewards states for embracing certain reform priorities, including the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

But he's also said he'd like to "shrink" the Education Department. And in 1995, as Speaker of the House, he backed an effort to scrap the department altogether.

Back in 2008, Gingrich, and then GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona,endorsed the mission statement of the Education Equality Project, which calls for strong accountability at all levels, including the school and district level.

Gingrich even appeared with Rev. Al Sharpton—and then-incoming Secretary of Education Arne Duncan—at a school in Washington, D.C., during President Barack Obama's inauguration to push the Education Equality Project's mission...
...which frames education as a civil right, supports charter schools, promotes accountability and professional pay for teachers...

Signatories of the EEP's manifesto, including Gingrich must,
Insist that our elected officials confront and address head-on crucial issues that created this crisis: teachers' contracts and state policies that keep ineffective teachers in classrooms and too often make it nearly impossible to get our best teachers paired up with the students who most need them; school funding mechanisms that ignore the reality that students are supposed to be the primary focus of schools; and enrollment policies that consign poor, minority students to our lowest-performing schools.

That sounds like a tall order, particularly the part about confronting "state policies." It doesn't seem to be in line with where many Republicans on Capitol Hill are today when it comes to K-12. So, do these ideas square with a significantly slimmed-down Education Department? And does Gingrich's record on K-12 make him an education-flip-flopper...or someone with nuanced, evolving positions?
This from the Daily Koz:


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