Fact Check: Sizemore’s Measure 60 is incompatible with Obama’s education plans

By Barbara Roberts, former Governor of Oregon.

I’ve long been a strong supporter of Senator Barack Obama, both for who he is as well as for his thoughtful, reasoned approach to public policy—including his positions on education policy.

That’s why it was so shocking to see the recent Willamette Week feature article that compares Senator Obama’s detailed education proposals to—of all things—Measure 60, Bill Sizemore’s vague, short-sighted, mean-spirited attack on teachers. By conveniently ignoring Obama’s actual proposals to improve teacher compensation, Willamette Week’s article is woefully misleading the public.

To be clear, Obama’s teacher pay plan is 100 percent incompatible with Measure 60.

For the record (and from Senator Obama’s own website), here is what Obama’s plan actually entails:

All of those ideas would actually be impossible under Measure 60, which ties teacher pay exclusively to “classroom performance.” The things we expect from teachers—becoming a mentor, undergoing advanced training, finding new ways to teach kids, taking on tough assignments—would have no impact on their pay. In fact, all of those goals would likely be pushed aside so that teachers could focus on training students to take standardized tests.

On the other side, here is what Senator Obama says he absolutely does not support:

But that is exactly what our Oregon schools will get under Measure 60. For Bill Sizemore to claim that Obama is on his side, and for Willamette Week to reprint his bogus claim, is an insult to anyone who admires Senator Obama and believes in his real vision for our country.

I’m voting for Senator Obama and I’m voting no on Measure 60 because I believe in giving our teachers the tools and opportunities to improve the lives and learning of Oregon students, Please join me in seeing through Bill Sizemore’s dishonesty and bad ideas, and vote No on Measure 60.

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    Thank you, thank you! I saw the same article and decided that the WW folks must be high on Halloween candy.

  • Jonathan (unverified)

    Thanks for the post. The article is just another example of why one shouldn't trust the WW, which continues to print reactionary and anti-labor pieces while posing as liberal and edgy.

  • throowrocks (unverified)

    How did Senator Obama’s plan work in Illinois?

  • (Show?)

    Thanks for clarifying the difference between thoughtful educational reform efforts that really aim to improve schools and help teachers become better teachers, since teachers like the rest of humanity like to do well at their work, vs. tendentious attacks on teachers that really have nothing to do with improving teaching or educations.

  • Hank (unverified)

    Wow, did someone send this to the Mercury and/or the Willamette Week? It seems like something they should have and could have figured out on their own--if they even bothered to spend a half a minute looking at Obama's plan. Pity.

  • throowrocks (unverified)
    <h2>NOTHING FOR THE STUDENTS...More pay, more opportunities for teachers, more pay, more pay. Obama buys more votes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</h2>
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