Thursday, July 28, 2016

Are Dems abandoning corporate reform? Some are giddy over Kaine pick.

Kaine never mentioned education reform in his DNC speech. 
Lots of ed activists are sending me this piece by Jeff Bryant at Campaign for America's Future. Jeff is a good education writer and usually knows what he's talking about.

Here he says that by adding Tim Kaine (no, Donald, he's not the governor of NJ) to the Clinton ticket, Dems may be abandoning current corporate-style school reform policies, which have plagued public education for the past few decades.

I'm for keeping hope alive, but not convinced.

If true, this would really piss off the likes of DFER, Gates/Broad/Walton power philanthropists, Arne Duncan, John King, Peter Cunningham and Wall St. hedge-fund reformers.

It could also pull opt-out parents and anti-Common Core folks closer to Clinton and  away from Trump.

AFT and NEA leaders are likely gleeful over this supposed shift and see it as redemption (payback) for their premature Clinton endorsement. We'll see.

Bryant writes:
The policy outline for K-12 education coming from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign remains vague, but supporters of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders have substantially altered how public education is framed in the Democratic Party platform, and Clinton has become more strident in her attacks on “for-profit” charter schools and vouchers that allow parents to transfer their children to private schools at taxpayer expense.
Vague indeed.

He refers to a recent piece by Lauren Camera for U.S. News and World Report on Kaine's "hefty education resume." Camera points to the significance of the Kaine choice over New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is "someone who would have been more favorable to big supporters of the high-stakes testing and charter school expansions that come with reform orthodoxy."

True about Booker.

Then there's Kaine's wife Anne Holton, who is VA's secretary of education and who has tried to reform the standardized testing regime in her state. She's also opposed the expansion of charter schools. And  -- stop the presses -- the Kaines even send their kids to public school.

Good for Anne. We need more like her.

Diane Ravitch is passionate about the Kaine's.

On top of that come the victories won by union activists and Sanders supporters in reshaping the party's ed plank in the platform committee. Victories, by the way (without being giddy with success), that offer activists a reason to stay and fight instead of walking out on the inner-party struggle after the convention.

Having said that, I don't read much into the V.P. choice and I generally see Kaine as a pro-Wall St. guy, someone who is malleable and will toe the party line on education (or TPP), whatever that is.

BTW, what is the party line? Obama said the word education only twice in passing references during his speech. Of course that's two more than he mentioned Iraq or Afghanistan. But who's counting?

In Bill Clinton's ("In the spring of 1971, I met a girl") speech, there were 4, but none substantive.

The word was mentioned only twice in Kaine's own speech with not a word about reform, testing, or charter schools.

Maybe Hillary will mention education in passing, tonight.

I'm thinking back to 2008 when Pres. Obama teased us by making progressive Linda Darling-Hammond the head of his ed transition team and then sent her back to Stanford in favor of corporate reformer Arne Duncan who became his pick for ed secretary.

From what I can see, the fight to save and transform public education will still have to be fought under and throughout a Clinton administration. But the fight may be on more favorable grounds. Certainly better than under a Trump presidency.


  1. Don't forget. They also had corporate reformer deluxe, privatizer and school closer, Mike Bloomberg up there in prime time.

  2. I wish, instead of choosing Kaine as her V.P. running mate, Hillary would have named Anne Holton as her choice for Sec. of Education.


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