Obama Runs to Center on Education, Touts Charters

Democrat will support charter schools, merit pay for teachers
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 9, 2008 12:04 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. poses for a picture with a group of cheerleaders after a town hall meeting at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va., Thursday, Aug. 21,...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama will come out today in favor of merit pay for teachers, doubled federal support for charter schools, and other centrist strategies to boost American education, reports Time. In the draft of a speech he's giving in Ohio, Obama warns that teachers who fail to improve will “be replaced,” though his party is close to teachers’ unions, which have also objected to using public money to fund privately run charter schools.

Obama is attempting to outflank John McCain on education, supporting some ideas that have been GOP favorites. "If we're going to make a real and lasting difference for our future, we have to be willing to move beyond the old arguments of left and right and take meaningful, practical steps to build an education system worthy of our children and our future." The Democrat also raps McCain for his failure to put forward new education proposals: “Not one real proposal or law or initiative. Nothing.”