Thursday, February 9, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Reformsters Contemplate Race (Part I)

CURMUDGUCATION: Reformsters Contemplate Race (Part I):

Reformsters Contemplate Race (Part I)
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Last week the American Enterprise Institute hosted an afternoon of reformy navel gazing, featuring an all-start lineup and centered around the general topic of race and the specific issue of whether the Great Reform Coalition was about to fall apart because (I'm paraphrasing) there's an actively racist administration taking power in DC and some reformsters are much more comfortable with that than others. Or, to paraphrase it from another point of view, because there are some reformsters are letting concerns about race and social justice get in the way of the practical pursuit of some swell reform objectives. Or, to synoptically paraphrase, the broad reform coalition could kind of hold it together when a Democratic faux-progressive administration was providing camouflage for conservative policies to be palatable to nominal progressives.

Well, you can see the problem.

At any rate, AEI mustered up two full panels on the subject, which is in itself an interesting choice because AEI is not known in some quarters for its enlightened non-racist behavior. But hey, who knows. Anyway, these videos add up to over two hours, so I'm going to take them in two posts. Because I've watched these so that you don't have to.

Introduction

After an intro slide of AEI's edifice, displayed with some supermarket music playing along, Rick Hess (AEI's ed guy) does the general introduction for these extraordinary panels discussing thorny issues in a remarkable conversation. AEI does not skimp on modifiers. Also we learn that New Schools Venture Fund, a reformy financier, is a co-sponsor today. Also Education Next which is the magazine where AEI and Fordham Institute put their thoughts.

America, says Hess, has some real challenges, and an increasing polarization problem that keeps us from discussing important issues in respectful or constructive ways. Education especially, and Hess's explanation of what education is about is a good one (creating communities, future, good broad big picture stuff). Sure we will disagree, but can we disagree like grown-ups (my word). On the one hand, Hess appears to be talking about intramural fights in the reform community, not the kind of 
CURMUDGUCATION: Reformsters Contemplate Race (Part I):



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