Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Sanders Rebellion Pushes The Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools

The Sanders Rebellion Pushes The Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools:

The Sanders Rebellion Pushes The Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools



Earlier this week my colleague Richard Eskow reported on the impact the populist progressive movement led by Bernie Sanders and others is having on the Democratic Party Platform to be voted on at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia later this month.
Eskow reports that during the Democratic Party Platform Committee meeting in Orlando, where the document underwent the final round of amendments, Sanders supporters “scored some impressive wins” on law enforcement and criminal sentencing reform, climate change and green energy, a living wage, and Social Security expansion.
What about education?
As I reported last week, the original platform document was tepid in its support for progressive education, lacking an overall vision for public education and falling short on providing specific proposals needed to ensure greater access to higher education, to support high-quality K-12 schools, and to address the threat posed by privatization and the charter industry.
Unfortunately, the amendment process in Orlando did not consider adding a progressive vision for public education to the platform, but many of the specifics in the document shifted to the left, thanks mostly to supporters of the Sanders campaign joining with Clinton supporters to press for progressive change.
Specifically, Chuck Pascal, a Sanders delegate from Pennsylvania who willnow support Hillary Clinton for the nomination, joined with Troy LaRaviere, the outspoken Chicago school principal who Sanders stood up for after he was ousted from his post by Chicago’s appointed school board, to insist on changes to the document’s positions on testing, school discipline, well-rounded curriculum, funding, and charter schools.
The Sanders supporters teamed up with Clinton delegates, including Randi Weingarten, the leader of the American Federation of Teachers, to deliver a platform that “now takes a stand against the high-stakes testing regime, opposes school closing based on test scores, opposes evaluating teachers by test scores, and emphasizes the importance of democratically-controlled public schools,” as education historian Diane Ravitch writes on her personal blog.
formal statement released by AFT hails the revised platform as “a refreshing sea change in its approach to public education.”
One way you can tell how much the document has been improved is by The Sanders Rebellion Pushes The Democratic Party Platform Toward A Big Fight Over Charter Schools:

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