American Prospect’s Dana Goldstein reports on DFER’s recent pre-convention seminar in Denver which brought together a well-heeled group of business-type school reformers. They all had one thing in common—their hatred of teacher unions. About 10% of the convention delegates are teachers union members.
The event, billed "Ed Challenge for Change," was sponsored by a coalition of foundations, nonprofits, and businesses supporting the charter-school movement, including Ed in '08, the advocacy group founded by Bill Gates and real-estate mogul Eli Broad. The evening provided a truly unusual spectacle at a convention: A megawatt group of Democrats, including Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C., and former Gov. Ray Romer of Colorado, bashed teachers' unions for an hour.
A more sympathetic blogger, Michelle McNeil portrays the DFER group as having only “a slight anti-union message” and then links them to the McCain-endorsed policy group, EEP.
I thought the (unintentionally) funniest part of McNeil's post was her description of D.C. Supt. Michelle Rhee, who left early to catch a flight, bashing the Democratic Party:
“ It’s supposed to be the party that looks out for poor and minority kids,” when that’s not actually happening.
This in a congregation underwritten by the world’s richest men, hedge-fund operators, Ownership Society privatizers and politicians.
Vallas says no to Dems
Why in the world was Paul Vallas offered a speaking gig at the Democratic Convention? And why did he turn it down? It seems that Vallas, an old Chicago machine Democrat who is currently busy privatizing the New Orleans public school system, is again feathering his nest back in Chicago. His ambitions, according to the Sun-Times' Carol Marin, include running for Cook County Board president --as a Republican.
And so why might the Obama campaign, loyal to the core to the Daley administration, invite Vallas? Maybe to make sure there was video of him at the DNC before he jumped to the GOP.