President Obama has traveled to community colleges, spoken many times about their value to students, employers and the economy, and the White House has effectively deployed Jill Biden — a community college instructor — to raise the profile of the institutions. So we don’t doubt the Administration’s support for community colleges.
Trouble is, you hold a White House event, yet another “summit,” in October right before potentially historic elections, the events tend to take on a political cast. Especially if you levy a political attack in the middle of it.
Washington Post, “Obama at college summit: GOP plan would cut education spending“:
President Obama applauded the nation’s community colleges Tuesday as “the unsung heroes of America’s education system” but warned that the Republican economic plan would imperil their mission and put the nation at a competitive disadvantage against other nations.
- Hearst Newspapers, “Obama: Tax cuts for rich hurt schools“
- Bloomberg, “Obama Job Strategy Backs Two-Year College Funding, Attacks Republican Cuts“
- USA TODAY, “Obama and Republicans joust again over education“
Maybe it’s the reporters’ emphasis, but it looks like the President stepped on his very important message about community colleges, skills and training by introducing partisan politics into the event.
P.S. Kevin Hall of McClatchy Newspapers noticed the absence of the National Association of Manufacturers at the White House event and does a good job of briefly reporting the context. See, “Obama hails community colleges, skirts their lack of funds.“
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