Monday, January 03, 2011

Democratic schism opens on fixing schools

Back to California: here's a nice article about DFER launching a new chapter there, under the leadership of Gloria Romero:

Across the nation Democrats have begun to split over education, with a growing chorus arguing the party must move away from its traditional allegiance with teachers unions in order to improve chronically low-performing schools.

In California, the divide likely will be magnified in the year ahead as a new political action committee lays ground here with a goal of backing Democrats who support education policies that unions generally oppose.

Gloria Romero, the former state senator from Los Angeles who lost her bid this year to become the state superintendent of schools, is heading the new California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, a PAC that operates in 10 states. In New York, the group supported candidates who pushed for expansion of charter schools, whose teachers are typically not unionized. In Colorado, it backed those who wanted to rewrite teacher tenure laws.

Romero said trouble in the schools – 21 percent of California students drop out of high school, and the rate is even higher among Latinos and African Americans – is no longer an "elephant in the room."

"It's a donkey in the room," Romero said. "It's Democrats who have been tightly aligned with education's special interests year after year, decade after decade, and we haven't progressed. So we have to examine our conscience, our party, and really forge a new path forward."


Democratic schism opens on fixing schools 

By Laurel Rosenhall

Published: Friday, Dec. 24, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 1A

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