I recently had the pleasure of appearing again on the Outlook program hosted by Barbara Deeb on WKYU-PBS to discuss developments in teacher evaluation and the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. I was joined by my WKU colleague Dr. Kristin Wilson, a specialist in post-secondary education, who discussed President Obama's proposal to provide free community college.
Our appearance was part of an episode on current events facing Kentucky. Other segments include discussions with WKU economics professor Dr. Dan Nyer on the local move toward "right to work" ordinances, and geology professor Dr. Michael May on the Kestone XL pipeline proposal.
The education segment begins around 17:04, and my comments on NCLB and teacher evaluation begin around 21:24.
Just since this episode aired, the prospects of NCLB reauthorization have grown surprisingly dim, the apparent victim of extreme views from both the Left and Right. President Obama is now threatening to veto any reauthorization effort that would do anything to satisfy Republicans (scaling back the federal role in education), and Tea Party members of the GOP are stonewalling anything that doesn't divest the federal government of virtually all its involvement in education.
While I am typically more sympathetic to the Tea Party view, in this case I think both sides are blundering the best chance we've had to bring reasonable, common sense improvements to federal education policy since NCLB was introduced in 2002. Once again, students pay the price for the lack of political leadership, from the state to the federal levels.