Ed Debate Political Fault Lines
Even a casual stroll through the Garden of Reformy Delights reveals some flora and fauna that do not ordinarily grow together. Here are some small government types clamoring for education standards imposed on the federal level. There are some nominal liberals complaining about the evils of teacher unions. Support for charter schools runs across the entire political range.
And it's no different in the Greenhouse of Reform Resistance. The push against Common Core united Bible-thumping conservatives with godless heathen liberals. The lawmakers in Oklahoma who just rejected test-and-wonky-math-driven evaluation for teachers were not Democrats standing up for teachers' unions, but Republicans standing up for local control.
The Ed Reform Debates have been marked by wholesale traffic in Strange Bedfellows, and that tends to create some stress and strain within some alliances.
At the Fordham blog, Robert Pondiscio is concerned that schisms within the reform camp are creating problems for conservatives. Specifically, he sees the "liberal" wing of reform, the social justice warriors, pushing out the conservatives, the fans of unleashing free market forces, a conflict that Pondiscio says he's been seeing unfold at various reformy gatherings.
One veteran conservative education reformer describes himself as “furious and frustrated” by the increasing dominance of social justice warriors in education reform and the marginalization of dissenting views. “It's an existential threat,” he notes. “Any group that only associates with likeminded people is susceptible to becoming extreme, inflexible, self-righteous, and losing its ability to see its own weaknesses.” This opinion was echoed in a series of interviews with other CURMUDGUCATION: Ed Debate Political Fault Lines: