Old News, but Interesting Observation. I was sifting through some of my magazines--and those of you who know me know that I subscribe to a whole lot of 'em--and came across an interesting observation on the Chicago teachers' strike (yeah, I know it was settled two weeks ago). The comment came from Dr. Timothy Knowles of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute, who stated "It's Old Labor meets New Democrat meets fiscal crisis. That's the perfect storm."
It dawned on me that dynamic is playing out, not only in the Chicago teachers' strike, but also in a number of other localities and state legislatures throughout the nation. It's not just conservatives who are promoting increased teacher evaluation, charter schools, and school "trigger" bills; a number of those initiatives have their roots in center-left think tanks and have been sponsored by, as Knowles describes them, New Democrats. President Obama's Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is case-in-point and his agenda, both from his time in Chicago and Washington, D.C., are clearly that of a New Democrat.
It makes for an interesting discussion and it will be interesting to see how things unfold after the election. In Minnesota, a change in control of either house of the Legislature would certainly alter the reform-heavy bent of the past biennium, although there are a number of what I would term New Democrats in both the House and Senate who would continue to push reform initiatives if control would flip.
Here's a link to The Christian Science Monitor article from which I pulled the Knowles quote: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2012/0911/In-Chicago-strike-teachers-draw-a-line-on-education-reform-video
Romney and Obama on Education. I missed the debate tonight (on purpose), but I did come across this little comparison of candidates' education plans in another issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Here's the link: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2012/0827/Obama-vs.-Romney-101-5-differences-on-education/K-12-spending
Bad News that has Gotten Better. I found out on Monday at the MASA conference that former Sauk Rapids-Rice school board member Brenda Woggon--a SEE stalwart during her tenure as a school board member--was recovering from a serious bout of viral encephalitis. She's now home after a stint in the hospital and convalescent center and things are looking up. She'd never forgive me if I gave out her address in this forum, but if you want to send her your regards and best wishes, contact me at the office and I will give it to you.
Brenda, get well soon!