Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Shill-y Season – EduShyster

The Shill-y Season – EduShyster:

The Shill-y Season

Where does Democrats for Education Reform’s single-issue extremism lead? 
At a time when Democrats and their party are, by virtually every index, moving left, a powerful center-right pressure group within the liberal universe has nonetheless sprung up. Funded by billionaires and arrayed against unions, it is increasingly contesting for power in city halls and statehouses where Democrats already govern…
Quick reader: why does this pithy description of the charter school lobby, quoted from a recent op-edin the Los Angeles Times, sound, um, so accurate? If you answered *because this is exactly what’s playing out in Massachusetts,* you would be correct. To see for ourselves, we need travel no further than Somerville, MA, which is the site of a somewhat, ahem, unusualpolitical showdown. In one corner is Senator Pat Jehlen, a longtime progressive leader in the state Senate and public education champion. Her opponent, Leland Cheung, is a former Republican legislative candidate from Virginia turned Harvard student turned Cambridge City Councilor turned Democrat for Education Reform. Thirsty already, reader? 
Blue state blues
massachusetts_blue_state_can_cooler-rce161ff843eb4d88ad66e5d8492c44ca_zl1aq_324.jpg (324×324)Ah, Massachusetts, my adopted home state. How surprised I was upon alighting upon your shores so, so long ago, to learn that your progressive reputation is, how shall I put this delicately?, somewhat exaggerated. If you are reading this from someplace that it is not blue, perhaps you have even cast an envious eye in our direction, coveting our solid cerulean state. Alas, reader, beneath that solid blue Mass. has long lurked something less inspiring: a sort-of three party system in which conservative Dems play BFF with what there is of a Republican party, ganging up again and again to quash any kind of progressive agenda. 
No need to reach for the coozie just yet, reader, for here is where our story takes an inspiring turn. During the past few years, Massachusetts has taken a measurably progressive lurch. Like a million workers getting paid sick time for the first time. Or a big bump in the state’s minimum wage. What happened? I’m going to go ahead and The Shill-y Season – EduShyster:

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