Activists & Advocates make a dent in Democrats' Education Platform
There has been much debate in the last week about whether the Democratic Party is signaling a change in education policy, and this weekend’s Convention Platform meeting provides the best measure.
Earlier in the week, Hillary Clinton spoke to the National Education Association and was well received, except for a comment distinguishing for-profit charters from nonprofit, as if there is a way to qualify the threat charters pose to public schools. Dana Goldstein wrote in Slate that “Hillary Clinton is changing the Democratic Party’s relationship with the school-reform movement.” But education advocates are not so sure.
Blogger Peter Greene is not believing it, saying Clinton is just parsing words. He has the best line ever written on the topic: "...a modern non-profit charter school is just a for-profit school with a good money-laundering plan." Jeff Bryant says, maybe and Diane Ravitch says, “time will tell,” advising, “we should all give Hillary Clinton a chance to change direction.” All that is speculation based on interpretation. Advocates are petitioning Clinton to meet with Ravitch for more assurance. The Network for Public Education made headlines for helping advocates with a grassroots push to influence the platform.
Yesterday’s amendments to the Democratic Party’s education platform are the first indication of anything concrete. Much of what was found in the amendments are also recommended by the Network for Public Education.
Of course, bloggers and activists will continue to debate. To help that discussion along, here is the text of the amendments andsome of the remarks made during the Committee’s consideration. (Quotation marks indicate direct quotes. Full remarks can be heard on the C-SPAN link, which is indexed and easy to navigate.)
The session started with higher education topics including eliminating college debt and increasing access to college. K-12 amendments were introduced by Chuck Pascal, a Bernie Sanders delegate from Pennsylvania, and AFT President Randi Weingarten, a Hillary Clinton supporter.
AMENDMENT 76 – Testing – passed unanimously
We are also deeply committed to ensuring that we strike a better balance on testing so that it informs but does not drive instruction. To that end, we encourage states to develop a multiple measures approach to assessment and we believe that standardized tests must meet American Statistical Association Standards for reliability and validity. We oppose high-stakes standardized tests that falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners as failing; the use of standardized test scores as a basis of refusing to fund schools or to close schools; and the use of student test scores in teacher and principal Activists & Advocates make a dent in Democrats' Education Platform — PS connect: