Saturday, May 29, 2010

Democrats gone wild

Here's an editorial in the Denver Post about the remarkable developments in CO, and the key role DFER played:

To truly grasp the magnitude of Democratic Sen. Michael Johnston's teacher-effectiveness bill, you had to catch the late, late show of the state legislature Tuesday night.

…But the endless debate, non-sequiturs and awkward analogies offered up that night — which made made me want to weep — signaled that this also was a watershed moment in national education reform. A tipping point, if you will.

Democrats in Colorado (albeit only a few of them) had wrested control of education policy and politics away from the CEA, which reportedly spent thousands of dollars on ads to defeat the bill.

"A lot of folks nationally thought the only way the [union] could be beaten was in a state with a Republican majority or in a not-strong union state," said Van Schoales, director of Education Reform Now, a national advocacy group. "A lot of folks can now look at Colorado, folks in Ohio and Michigan, and say if we can get urban Democrats on board, align ourselves with Republicans, we can get stuff done."

It's unfortunate how much the bill divided Democrats. It's also unfortunate the battle became about beating the CEA. Had the union found a way to support the bill, it would have brought down the noise under the dome.

But the protracted fight led to something very valuable: an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, education reformers and civil rights groups that came together with a bipartisan team of Colorado governors to say this was the right thing to do for kids.


Democrats gone wild

By Dan Haley
The Denver Post

Posted: 05/16/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

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