REVOLVING DOOR: Former NY deputy commissioner now running Jeb Bush’s ed reform group
By: A N.Y. BAT
After all the suffering New York students, parents and educators have gone through in rejecting top-down education reform, it’s insulting to see the official dubbed “NY’s teacher evaluation czar” trying to imply she “raised achievement” during her tenure here. Welcome to elastic reality, where chaos, waste and mass protest become “improved quality”.
Chiefs for Change was created by Jeb Bush to promote school choice, charters, vouchers, online charter schools, the Common Core, and high-stakes testing. They reorganized as Bush stepped away for his short-lived 2016 presidential run, but he has since announced a return to ed reform. So who runs the organization now? The former deputy commissioner who oversaw NY’s teacher evaluation debacle.
REFORMERS REWARDED: As Steven Singer reported, Jeb Bush has been raising money for education reform “infrastructure” from billionaires, corporations and Wall Street investors for years. In 2012, DC’s biggest lobbyist John Podesta (who is running the Hillary campaign today) joined Jeb onstage in a bipartisan truce to announce they were recruiting teachers and politicians willing to “stick out their necks” for corporate reform, promising an amplified voice, career grooming and ample remuneration.
Podesta is credited for picking Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education, so he means it when he says he wants to promote reformers. Today, they need figureheads badly as most US states have changed education leadership in the last year as the transition to ESSA begins. Prominently featured on the Chiefs for Change website is this:
“As Chief Operating Officer, Julia Rafal-Baer, Ph.D., develops our organizational capacity for sustained growth, strengthens our decision-making processes and goal-setting, and drives the strategic direction of Chiefs for Change.
Prior to joining our team, Julia was Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Education Department where she was responsible for the strategy, management, and implementation Badass Teachers Association: