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Tue Jul 29, 2014, 09:42 AM

‘Education reform’ now a pejorative term to many progressive Democrats

By Valerie Strauss

Earlier this year I published a post about how the Democratic Party has been split for years over the issue of corporate school reform. President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been Democratic leaders of the dominant reform movement which seeks to transform public schools through standardized-test-based “accountability” and the expansion of charter schools. (There are Republican leaders as well, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush).

Recently, there has been growing pushback against corporate reform from elements in the Democratic Party. Donna Brazile, a longtime strategist, this month announced that she will co-chair a newly formed organization called Democrats for Public Education and she told delegates at the American Federation of Teachers’ national convention that “the very premise of market-driven education reform” is wrong. The new organization is apparently a counter to the Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), which has for years supported Obama’s reform agenda and supported the spread of public charter schools. After the new group was announced, DFER head Joe Williams issued a one-sentence statement — “Welcome to the jungle, baby.” (Perhaps a reference to the Guns n’ Roses song?)

More opposition to the Obama reform agenda was expressed at this month’s 2014 Netroots Nation convention, which brings together progressive political activists to discuss and debate key issues facing the country. Jeff Bryant, who is the director of the Education Opportunity Network, a partnership effort of the Institute for America’s Future and the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, writes in this post about what he witnessed at the convention and what it means for the future of school reform. This original version of this post, which you can see here on the network’s blog, began with a discussion of the political tenor of the convention and the ecstatic reception received by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who spoke about the growing income inequality in this country and declared that it was time to fight against a “rigged” economic system. Bryant also wrote about a sense among many of the participants that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. What appears below is his discussion about education issues were approached at this and earlier Netroots Nation conventions.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/28/education-reform-now-a-pejorative-term-to-many-progressive-democrats/

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Reply ‘Education reform’ now a pejorative term to many progressive Democrats (Original post)
n2doc Jul 2014 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #1
Demeter Jul 2014 #2
daleanime Jul 2014 #4
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 #3
snot Jul 2014 #5
LWolf Aug 2014 #6

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jul 29, 2014, 10:13 AM

1. 'corporate reform' is the key there, I think.

I think most folks on the left would be fine with 'reform' that is driven by long term educators who have shown evidence that some practice or set of practices they've developed create better outcomes for students as a whole, or students who are struggling. The 'split' comes when 'reform' is driven by non-educator billionaires and privatizers who want the public education system to become either a cash cow for private investors or simply a supply line for useful corporate drones.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jul 29, 2014, 10:18 AM

2. Educational Excellence would be a worthy goal

 

bringing each individual student to his/her highest level.

but that's NOT what "educational reform" is about. It's more like "educational DEFORM"--destroy the entire meaning and purpose of education, change it to INDOCTRINATION and PROGRAMMED RESPONSE to stimuli, and you've got some idea of what the game plan is: create minions without the means to learn or protect themselves.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 29, 2014, 03:29 PM

4. +1

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jul 29, 2014, 02:03 PM

3. Good. Progressives should be embarrassed to support corporate racism.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Jul 30, 2014, 01:41 AM

5. True here.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 01:40 PM

6. Better late than never, I guess.

Still, the destruction of my profession, the degradation of the system of public education, and the students who have been limited or damaged by the dominant "reform" movement is not likely to be finished during my active professional lifetime, if during my lifetime at all.

Opposition needs to result in kicking the dominant "reform" movement to the curb. ASAP.

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