Friday, July 29, 2016

Where Does 'Education Reform' Go in a Post-Obama World?

Speaking of DFER, here's a good article, Where Does 'Education Reform' Go in a Post-Obama World?, about the challenges we reformers face now – and will face even more under a new administration:

Back in 2008, Democrats for Education Reform had what amounted to its coming out party at the party's national convention in Denver. But a lot has changed in eight years.

On Monday, an event put on here by Education Reform Now, an affiliated organization, felt like an opportunity for a little soul searching, as some big name speakers pondered a central question: Where exactly, does the education-redesign movement go in a post-Obama administration, post Every Student Succeeds Act world?

"There's a lot of anxiety about the transition from this president to the next 
administration," Shavar Jeffries, the national president of the organization, a non-profit think tank affiliated with DFER said as he kicked off the policy forum.

But Jeffries isn't worried. His message? Hang tight and play the long game.

"For us this is a social justice project," Jeffries said. "And social justice is never easy. It's never short-term."

Jeffries linked education redesign to other social-change movements, noting that after the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, the civil rights movement experienced a seven-year period of "defeat, after defeat, after defeat."

End of an Era

The event attracted a star-studded cast—well, star-studded as wonky education events get—including Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Ann O'Leary, Clinton's campaign advisor, all of whom spoke of their continued commitment to ensuring schools are better able to help the neediest kids.

Still, the past couple years have been challenging for fans of education redesign who have seen some of their favorite policies—high standards, teacher evaluation through test scores, dramatic school turnarounds, and testing—attacked in school districts, statehouses and Congress. 

Where Does 'Education Reform' Go in a Post-Obama World? 

By Alyson Klein on July 26, 2016 9:00 AM

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