DNC PUTS THE 'C' IN EDUCATION: That's a 'c' for campaigning in the DNC's official stance on education.
Okay, we wrote the same thing last week when the Republicans shared
their platform, which we critiqued as long on rhetoric and short on
substantive change. We did neglect to share Condoleezza Rice's shout out for school choice, and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush's speech,
in which he laid out the party's principles: "We need to set high
standards for students and teachers and provide students and their
parents the choices they deserve....We must stop pre-judging children
based on their race, ethnicity or household income. We must stop
excusing failure in our schools and start rewarding improvement and
success. We must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to
the best in the world."
This week our in-house Republican is ready to blast the
Democrats for an equally milk-toast platform when it comes to education.
Indeed, for all the wordsmithing that official position statements must
endure, it's pretty darn hard to imagine anything imaginative sneaking
into a speech. (Even so, here's EdWeek's report which notes the Administration praising teachers and taking credit for states' adoption the Common Core.)
What we do find interesting at the DNC, however, were sessions convened as part of the "Democrats For Reform" Town Hall event. One panel included the leaders of the
major teacher unions--Randi Weingarten and Dennis Van Roekel--along with
private sector leaders John Katzman (2tor and Noodle.org) and Joel Rose
(New Classrooms Innovation Partners, formerly known as School of One)
and Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon and moderator, Jonathan Schorr
(NewSchools Venture Fund). We appreciate all of those speakers coming
together. We are a huge fan of honest dialogue and of bringing together
people and trying to find areas of unity.
All that said, with
the current divisive political climate, we keep our faith in the
hard-working teachers, principals, administrators, and edupreneurs
whether they're playing by the book, working around the rules, or
radically disrupting the system.