Dem-ish Reformsters Play Both Sides
You know how it is. New school year starts, lunch time rolls around, and everyone has to decide who they want to sit with for the next year.
Modern education reform has been fueled in part by folks pretending to be left-tilted Democrats while embracing right-tilted free market corporate-based policies. The sweet smoothie of neo-liberal conservatism has worked for years--it helped sell No Child Left Behind (Look! Bipartisan support For The Children!) and it worked under the Obama neo-lib administration as well. Really, who cares about political labels and parties and tribes as long as corporate ed reform is still chugging along.
What, really, is the difference between a Democrat-flavored, left-tilted, self-identified progressive education reformster and the crew that just took over the big table in the DC cafeteria?
Remember what Democrats for Education Reform honcho Whitney Tilson had to say about putting the D in DFER:
The main obstacle to education reform was moving the Democratic party, and it had to be Democrats who did it, it had to be an inside job. So that was the thesis behind the organization. And the name – and the name was critical – we get a lot of flack for the name. You know, “Why are you Democrats for education reform? That’s very exclusionary. I mean, certainly there are Republicans in favor of education reform.” And we said, “We agree.” In fact, our natural allies, in many cases, are Republicans on this crusade, but the problem is not Republicans. We don’t need to convert the Republican party to our point of view…
Then Donald Trump won the election, and a new President means a new year in the cafeteria.
This has presented reformsters with a dilemma. They can have pretty much everything they wantCURMUDGUCATION: Dem-ish Reformsters Play Both Sides: