Ralph Z. Hallow, Washington Times -
President Obama's blunt but little-noted statement last week that bad teachers need to be fired and that some fellow Democrats resist real change in public schools has jolted educators and education critics alike. 'It was unusual for a Democratic president to say that,' said Cynthia G. Brown, director of education policy for the liberal Center for American Progress. . . Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Washington Times that 'President Obama has potentially opened a very important dialogue about real reform and real investment in education. . . Some saw in Mr. Obama's words something they had never seen before: a sitting president of either party, let alone a Democrat, standing up for the first time to the teachers unions, which represent one of the most powerful Democratic interest groups.'Barack Obama -
There are areas like education where some in my party have been too resistant to reform, and have argued only money makes a difference. . . . Both sides are going to have to acknowledge we're going to need more money for new science labs, to pay teachers more effectively, but we're also going to need more reform, which means that we've got to train teachers more effectively, bad teachers need to be fired after being given the opportunity to train effectively, that we should experiment with things like charter schools that are innovating in the classroom, that we should have high standards.