Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is DFER Fading or Poised for an Ongoing Political Role? | janresseger

Is DFER Fading or Poised for an Ongoing Political Role? | janresseger:

Is DFER Fading or Poised for an Ongoing Political Role?

Shavar Jeffries, President of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), certainly made a strong attempt a couple of weeks ago to present DFER as a powerful and relevant advocacy organization when he commented on changes to the Democratic Platform that were less favorable to charter schools: “What happened in Orlando is little more than a bait and switch, one we are eager to fix, and which we hope is unreflective of Hillary Clinton’s priorities, as she has repeatedly supported standards and accountability and high-performing charter schools.  President Obama has made clear that the best way to strengthen our system is not just with more resources, but reforms that ensure our children are progressing.” “This unfortunate departure from President Obama’s historic education legacy threatens to roll back progress we’ve made in advancing better outcomes for all kids, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”  DFER has been one of the strongest and most consistent proponents of the education policies of President Barack Obama and his first Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
In a new, short history and profile of Democrats for Education Reform, Alexander Russo evaluates DFER’s role in the education politics of recent years and wonders about its future as the next President perhaps moves away from the policies of the Obama administration.  Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst shut down earlier this spring and merged its existing work into 50CAN, another school “reform” advocacy organization.  What will be the fate of DFER?
On its website, DFER defines itself as opposed to traditional public schooling where, “(M)illions of American children today – particularly low-income and children of color – are trapped in persistently failing schools that are part of deeply dysfunctional school systems. These systems, once viewed romantically as avenues of opportunity for all, have become captive to powerful, entrenched interests that too often put the demands of adults before the educational needs of children.” As a PAC, DFER has sought to reposition the Democratic Party’s education policies to support test-and-punish accountability, more charters, and the connection of teacher evaluations to students’ test scores.
What exactly is DFER?  Russo explains: “First conceived around 2005, DFER didn’t really launch until June 2007, when it held a public event and established an online presence. While Is DFER Fading or Poised for an Ongoing Political Role? | janresseger:
 

Big Education Ape: The Empire Strikes Back: The Sudden Rise and Ongoing Challenges of Democrats for Education Reform - AEI - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-empire-strikes-back-sudden-rise-and.html

Big Education Ape: School is out, but the fight to preserve public education continues - NPE Action - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/07/school-is-out-but-fight-to-preserve.html

Big Education Ape: With money from Walmart’s Walton Foundation - They call themselves Democrats for Education Reform - Wait What? - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/05/with-money-from-walmarts-walton.html

Big Education Ape: How a Democratic PAC Is Channeling Out-Of-State Dark Money to Enshrine Corporate Education Reform | Alternet - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-democratic-pac-is-channeling-out-of.html



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