Posted in Duncan, Obama

Some Things Haven’t Improved

PREDICTIONS WHICH DIDN’T COME TRUE

As one of it’s End of the Old Year/Beginning of the New Year blog entries, Think Progress presented 4 Things That Were Supposed To Happen By 2015 Because Obama Was Reelected. None of them happened (at least not yet) despite the warnings of Republicans. They included…

1. Gas was supposed to cost $5.45 per gallon.
In March 2012, on the floor of the United States Senate, Mike Lee (R-UT) predicted that if Obama was reelected gas would cost $5.45 per gallon by the start 2015.

Newt Gingrich campaigned with pictures of $2.50@ gallon gas and said that if we reelected President Obama we’d see gas at $10 per gallon.

Today, the nationwide average for a gallon of gas is $2.24.

2. Unemployment was supposed to be stuck at over 8%
In September 2012, Mitt Romney predicted that if Obama is reelected “you’re going to see chronic high unemployment continue four years or longer.”…The unemployment rate currently stands at 5.8% and has been under 6% since September 2014.

3. The stock market was supposed to crash
Charles Bilderman, the author of the “Intelligent Investing” column at Forbes, wrote that the “market selloff after Obama’s re-election [was] no accident,” predicting “stocks are dropping with no bottom in sight.”

2015 isn’t over. The Dow closed tonight at 17,501…so things look pretty good for the time being. I’m sure the Republicans would like to see some bad economic news right before the 2016 election. Perhaps they’ll help that along…

4. The entire U.S. economy was supposed to collapse
Rush Limbaugh predicted that “the country’s economy is going to collapse if Obama is re-elected.”… “California is going to declare bankruptcy”…

It hasn’t…

The U.S. economy grew at a robust 5% in the 3rd quarter of 2014, following 4.6% growth in the second quarter.

Think Progress didn’t paint everything as rosy and wonderful as we continue the second term of the Obama Administration. They ended their piece with…

Although these dire economic predictions have proven false, it doesn’t mean there aren’t real, persistent problems with the U.S. economy. Most critically, wage growth for American workers remains stagnant. That’s why, although many economic indicators are strong, a lot of Americans aren’t yet feeling the impact.

As much as Rush Limbaugh would have liked to see President Obama fail, he hasn’t. As much as Senator McConnell wanted President Obama to be a one term President, he isn’t. And things are getting better.

The dire political predictions have, thankfully, not come true.

ONE MORE THING

In October of 2012 I joined the Campaign for our Public Schools sponsored by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. We wrote letters to President Obama. While his reelection wasn’t guaranteed at that point, we hoped that he would listen to us when we told him what his policies were doing to America’s public schools. In my letter I urged him to change “Race to the Top.” I didn’t predict what would happen if he didn’t…but I didn’t have to.

I’ve asked the President more than once to drop Race to the Top and support public schools instead of the “reform” agenda. I have also hoped that he would “dump Duncan,” but I know that wouldn’t really matter. The President has his hand in the Privatization-Reformy-DFER cookie jar and getting rid of Arne Duncan wouldn’t change that. He would just ask Bill Gates for a new name and appoint someone just as bad to promote his policies — most likely Deputy Secretary James Shelton, formerly of the Gates Foundation and the New School Venture Fund (oh, and like Duncan, he has no actual professional education experience either).

Unfortunately for public schools, the second Obama Administration has doubled down on privatization through charters, teacher evaluations based on the junk science of VAM, ignoring child poverty as a serious problem in America, and the general abandonment of the U.S. Public School system.

That’s one outcome of President Obama’s reelection that hasn’t gotten better.

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All who envision a more just, progressive and fair society cannot ignore the battle for our nation’s educational future. Principals fighting for better schools, teachers fighting for better classrooms, students fighting for greater opportunities, parents fighting for a future worthy of their child’s promise: their fight is our fight. We must all join in.

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Stop the Testing Insanity!
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Author:

Retired after 35 years in public education.