Monday, June 12, 2006

The Democratic Party we should have: Borosage

The Turning?


[from the June 26, 2006 issue]

What comes next? The catastrophic conservatism of George W. Bush and the DeLay Congress is collapsing. Americans have turned against the signature Bush initiatives: the war in Iraq, privatization of Social Security, trickle-down economics, the Big Oil energy policy. The GOP coalition is splintering. The religious right's extremism--Schiavo, stem cell research, attacks on science--alienates most Americans. The cynical posturing on immigration and gay marriage grows more transparent. DeLay is gone. Bush has moved from swagger to sorry.

Democrats are roused by the possibility of taking back the House and perhaps even the Senate this fall. But the stark failure of the right opens a far broader possibility, creating the space for a bold progressive vision and movement to challenge the grip that conservatives have had on our politics and imaginations over the past quarter-century. In this context, it's worth taking a sober look at the possibilities and limits of the coming election.

The Debate We Will Have

With nearly two-thirds of the country now disapproving of the performance of Bush and the GOP Congress, Democrats are tempted to start scoping out their new offices. Nothing could be more pernicious. When Democrats believe they are sitting on a lead, they turn from cautious to catatonic.

In fact, while the conditions for a political tsunami this fall are gathering, Republicans may still be able to survive the storm. Congressional seats are like impregnable medieval castles, populated with loyal subjects and defended with all the hot oil ads and dedicated troops that money can buy. Challengers have neither the time nor the resources for a long siege. Republicans will flood any close race with big money in the final weeks. Even with voters looking for a change, taking out any of these barons is a heroic feat; on average, 94 percent of House incumbents win re-election. Moreover, Americans still tend to scorn Congress but like their legislator; they think Congress is corrupt but that their Representative is clean. Democrats need only fifteen seats to win a majority in the House, where the rules, and the seniority of liberals, would enable even a small majority to produce a dramatic change. But it will take an extraordinary mobilization to get it done.

Democrats may have difficulties navigating the storm as well. They have no consensus position on the fundamental issue driving opinion--the war in Iraq--and aren't particularly compelling on how to fix the economy. Democrats rail at Bush's failures in Iraq, but they are all over the map on what to do going forward. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has supported the old Marine Jack Murtha in calling for getting the troops out ("redeployment" is the euphemism du jour), while others--including pre-presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Evan Bayh and Mark Warner--argue that it is important to leave a stable government in place, although they are divided on how to achieve that. And some, like Joe Lieberman, act like they're part of the presidential glee club.

On the economy, Democrats have an open-throated critique of Bush's failures--the budget and trade deficits, the stagnant wages, the growing inequality and poverty--but no clear alternative growth agenda. They've made fiscal probity a priority but hesitate to argue for fair taxes. This tends to leave them tongue-tied about major public investment. So when Bush argues for tax cuts and growth, too often Democrats argue about deficits.

Despite this, Democrats are in much better shape than you'd know from the pundits prating about their lack of unity and absence of ideas. In reality, George Bush's extremism has forged greater Democratic unity than ever. That unity was critical in routing Bush's primary second-term domestic initiative--privatization of Social Security--and will help Democrats make the election a national referendum on conservative corruption and incompetence. (Newt Gingrich helpfully supplied the slogan: "Had Enough?")

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate not only have drummed on the Republican "culture of corruption" but have forged relatively widespread agreement on a positive issue agenda that helps dramatize the costs of that corruption to voters. They've called for a concerted drive for energy independence, as opposed to the Administration's Big Oil cronyism. They'd fix the prescription drug program--put it in Medicare and require Medicare to negotiate lower prices--as opposed to the Big Pharma giveaways DeLay forced through Congress. They would invest in education and cut student loan interest rates in half, as opposed to GOP cuts of billions from student aid. They'd raise the minimum wage, which Republicans, catering to the business lobby, have frozen since 1997. They would get serious about homeland security, in stark contrast to the cronyism revealed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And they would attack the incompetence and corruption in Iraq, where insider companies like Halliburton made off with billions in no-bid contracts, even while the Pentagon charges them with fraudulent billing.

Neither Democratic nor Republican incumbents have exactly been stalwarts when it comes to getting big money out of politics. But this agenda gives Democrats a populist theme, pitting the common good against the special interest, working people against corporate lobbies.

Thus far, the Republicans' response has been as fractured as their popularity. Many legislators are scrambling to go local--highlighting their independence from Bush and their effectiveness in serving their constituents. But the White House and the RNC argue that their best hope is to make the election a fear-driven choice, not a referendum on conservative performance. As Karl Rove put it to the RNC, the President knows we're at war, whereas Democrats want to "cut and run"; the President will do what is necessary to keep Americans safe, while Democrats worry about warrants and procedure, opposing the "terrorist surveillance program" and renewal of the Patriot Act; Republicans are for tax cuts and growth, while Democrats will raise taxes and sabotage growth; and Republicans defend traditional values--like marriage--while Democrats undermine them.

This replays tunes that were brutally effective in 2002 and 2004. But few voters may still be listening to the President on Iraq, and most Americans think Republicans are out of touch when they tout the supposedly good economy. Plus, Republican posturing on social issues is losing credibility even on the right.

The Debate We Need to Have

How do progressives use the moment to pose a far broader challenge to the right? Democrats suffer badly from the fact that no one has any clear sense of what they stand for. In response, progressives have begun to argue that Democrats need to embrace a big idea--not simply a parcel of issue proposals--to define their public philosophy.

In an elegant essay, Michael Tomasky, editor of The American Prospect, urges Democrats to return to their tradition of "civic republicanism," of arguing for the common good, for a sense that we're all in this together and that together we can build a more perfect union. In Being Right Is Not Enough, Paul Waldman of Media Matters details how this contrasts clearly with the right's "we're all on our own" hyper-individualism. In All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy, Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute lays out an economic argument along the same lines. All agree that a common-good politics is best expressed in universal rather than small-bore programs--Medicare for all, for example--that contrast clearly with the conservative vision, with its scorn for any collective enterprise beyond the military.

The scope of the challenges facing the country sets the stage for this politics. And the widespread understanding that conservatives in power have championed the interests of the few rather than the many provides a compelling backdrop. But what keeps Democrats from putting forth a clear governing philosophy--and laying out an agenda to give it substance? Tomasky suggests that the problem is grounded in the success of the movements of the 1960s, which shattered the hypocrisies and racism of cold war liberalism but left in their wake an interest-group pluralism focused on rights rather than common enterprise. With less venom, he echoes the arguments of the Democratic Leadership Council and Newt Gingrich that Democrats lost their way in the 1960s, as the antiwar, women's and civil rights movements produced, to use Richard Nixon's venomous formulation, a party of "acid, amnesty and abortion." (Reagan added the "welfare queen" and the politics of racial division.)

Tomasky is silent about the failure of military Keynesianism to deal with stagflation in the 1970s, and the corporate offensive that declared open warfare on liberal economics, unions and consumer and environmental groups. Corporations built not only the ideological arsenal of the right but also the money wing of the Democratic Party. Democrats found that, as the majority in Congress, they could fill their campaign coffers with corporate contributions. Liberal Atari Democrats and conservative New Democrats learned to scorn unions as a special interest, and to champion much of the corporate agenda--balanced budgets, free trade, deregulation, privatization, capital-gains tax cuts, opposition to the minimum wage, even the short-term stock options that gave CEOs a multimillion-dollar personal incentive to cook the books. Democrats stopped speaking to the common good less because they were mugged by women's or civil rights groups than because they found it literally paid to stop fighting for working people in the economy.

The misdiagnosis leads to the wrong prescriptions. Tomasky fantasizes about a Democratic presidential candidate announcing to the "single-issue groups arrayed around my party" that "I don't seek your endorsement, won't fill out your questionnaires" in order to convince Americans that he or she would put the "common interest over the particular interest." This might be called the Democrats' Sister Souljah temptation--after Clinton's staged insult to Jesse Jackson in 1992: the calculated, if symbolic, straight-arming of your own base to demonstrate independence.

The problem with this "politics of inoculation," as Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin call it in their essay "Politics of Definition," is that it not only demoralizes the most passionate activists at the base of the party but also contributes to the sense that Democrats won't even defend their own. And of course, pushing away the base has been generally used by Democrats to move to a more cautious corporate politics--as when President Clinton gained praise for his "courage" in standing with the Fortune 500, the bulk of editorialists and all of Wall Street to champion NAFTA against trade union opposition.

In fact, it is far less the supposed dominance of the movements in the Democratic Party than the influence of Wall Street and corporate money that impedes building a bold new governing strategy. It is not women, civil rights or union movements that lead Democrats to embrace a bipartisan corporate trade strategy serving multinationals but not the nation; or that cause Democrats to help pass top-end tax cuts, that make them vote to keep CEO stock options off the books or that make them wary about backing national healthcare. To revive a true politics of the public interest, Democrats will have to challenge the grip that corporate money and conservative economic ideology have on the party.

Similarly, on foreign policy, the bipartisan assumption that the United States should police the world comes, obviously, from the corporate establishment, not the peace movement. The current rage in center-right Democratic circles is to resuscitate Harry Truman, substitute bin Laden for Stalin and jihadism for communism, and summon America to a new global struggle--claiming for Democrats a muscular tradition of collective security, in contrast to Bush's "conservative unilateralism." Neocons like Peter Beinart, fresh from cheering the country into the Iraq debacle, join New Dems like Al From in urging Democrats to prove their resolve by purging the left--the "MoveOn, Michael Moore wing"--from the Democratic Party. Members of the DLC call on the United States to increase its military spending, expand its expeditionary forces and "put the economy on a wartime footing." They pledge to "rally the American people" to sustain an "extended and robust" occupation in Iraq. And they urge the United States to intervene aggressively in the Middle East with a "sweeping program of economic, political and social reform." Since the DLC also pledges to reduce the budget deficits at the same time, Americans will have to tighten their belts to support such a mission.

This posture is deeply flawed. It distorts the threat and gets the response wrong. The problems of the Muslim world are not caused by the United States and the West having intervened too little. We need a policy on Islamist terrorists that isolates them rather than inflates them: alliances, intelligence cooperation, joint efforts to delegitimize their fanaticism, aggressive policing to bring them to justice. We need a strategy for America in a world very different from that of the end of World War II, when the dollar was literally as good as gold. This, once more, will require challenging the grip of multinational corporations and banks and their ideological fixation on building a global market protected from national regulation. Only then will we be able to define a "common good" politics that can help make the global economy work for the many and not the few.

If we are to reclaim a bold progressive politics, then the fantasy candidate will be one willing to tell a gathering of investment bankers that he or she doesn't need their money but would like their support to champion the public interest. This won't soon be the consensus position of the Democratic Party. It will require the building of an independent progressive movement willing to challenge entrenched interests and ideology, and able to support candidates and causes while building efforts to curb the influence of big money in politics.

This effort has only just begun, but surprising progress is possible in 2006. Forceful populists like Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sherrod Brown of Ohio could help transform the debate if elected to the Senate. Audacious challenges--like that of Ned Lamont in taking on Joe Lieberman for the US Senate nomination in Connecticut--will help sober sitting Democrats about the need to represent their voters. New capacity--from the insurgent activism of and the brassy blogosphere to the AFL-CIO's new community affiliate Working America's reach into middle America--will provide a greater ability to define the future, not simply to decry it.

The MoveOn wing of the party isn't about to be purged by the folks who helped propel us into Iraq. The democratic wing of the Democratic Party, in Paul Wellstone's--and later Howard Dean's--phrase, is expanding in influence and number. In response to Bush's forceful but failed project, progressives across the country are developing a feisty, populist politics that just may drive Democrats toward a real politics of the common good.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Union field staff position available

Staff Recruitment Announcement
California Faculty Association

Field Campaign Director

CFA is affiliated with: SEIU, AAUP and CTA/NEA

California Faculty Association seeks experienced union or political organizer to direct field component of labor friendly statewide independent expenditure campaign.

Work with progressive unions on issue oriented effort to re-elect incumbent. Strong communication, writing, organizational and supervisory skills are required.

Must be willing to get to worksites and leaflet voters and engage them directly on the issues while being able to manage staff in at least four major cities.

Sacramento-based contract position is available immediately through November, 2006. May lead to full-time employment. Salary commensurate with experience


• Develop a multiple city campaign plan that connects with targeted voters in pre-selected locations.
• Help hire and train staff to run the ground campaign in each target city.
• Work with staff to recruit volunteer leaders and campaign activists.
• Work with allies and volunteers to develop campaign infrastructure including leafleting, constituency meetings, rallies, etc.
• Write and develop field campaign materials when needed.
• Hold staff accountable to voter contact and voter identification program and compile data into reports for campaign director.
• Develop and implement GOTV plan.


• Experience as a political or union organizer who can assess voters and count votes as well as lead and hold staff accountable to a program.
• A working knowledge of the California political processes and the State government.
• Demonstrated ability to analyze and explain relevant issues, legislative actions and political processes.
• Experience in developing all the elements of a political campaign.
• Computer literacy with data bases and Microsoft Office products (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) for the preparation of work related materials.
• Ability to work cooperatively with union members, staff, allies, and voters.

Contact: Sent resume via email to
or mail resume to:

Search Committee
California Faculty Association
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1590
Sacramento, CA 95814

CFA is an Affirmative Action Employer.
Women, people of color and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Harold Meyerson on California election

Clarifying Issues in California

By Harold Meyerson
Thursday, June 8, 2006; Page A23

LOS ANGELES -- Lord, but California is election-weary. America's mega-state
endured the dreariest of gubernatorial contests in 2002, followed by the most
surprising of gubernatorial recalls in 2003, the drama of the presidential race
in 2004 and, just last November, the who-asked-for-it special election in which
business and labor spent nearly a quarter-billion dollars fighting over Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's wildly unpopular ballot initiatives. No wonder
something like 70 percent of California's registered voters elected not to vote
in Tuesday's primary, which was essentially a sliming contest between the two
leading Democratic candidates for governor.

If the states are laboratories of democracy, as Louis Brandeis called them, then
Californians have become guinea pigs in a vast failed experiment. Hold a major
election every year -- complete with a torrent of attack ads and mailings and
recorded phone messages from a startling array of personages attesting to the
virtues of your state assembly candidate -- and eventually nobody will vote.
The relation between permanent campaigns and voter participation, it turns out,
is inverse.

Still, a few hardy souls, steeled in their civic duty, stumbled to the polls
here on Tuesday and made the right selection. California Democrats chose state
Treasurer Phil Angelides to go up against Schwarzenegger in November's
gubernatorial contest. For some time the conventional wisdom has been that the
liberal Angelides would have a harder time beating Arnold than the centrist
state controller, Steve Westly -- the man Angelides defeated on Tuesday. But
Westly, despite the estimated $37 million of his own money that he put into the
race, never really established a distinct identity with state voters. His
achievements as controller were imperceptible, and polling showed that voters
imputed to him all manner of conflicting positions. California may be the land
of malleable identities, but Westly's lightness of being finally proved too
insubstantial even for Californians.

Angelides, by contrast, is a figure of hard-core beliefs and rough edges. The
Democratic nominee is an unabashed liberal. As treasurer, he responded to the
state's Enron-engendered energy crisis by proposing to establish a public power
company. The centerpiece of his gubernatorial campaign has been his call to
raise taxes on the wealthiest Californians -- the only way, he argues, to boost
the state's chronically low level of per-pupil education spending.

If Angelides were facing off against a conventional right-wing California
Republican, his brand of liberalism would very likely prevail in this solidly
blue state. But Schwarzenegger is no conventional Republican, and since his
disastrous initiative campaigns last fall, he has scurried to the center in
every way possible. The Governator restocked his office with environmental
activists and a Democratic chief of staff. He joined with the Democrats in the
legislature to place on November's ballot several massive bond measures to
rebuild California's transportation and education systems. He now campaigns as
the neo-Pat Brown, master rebuilder of the Golden State.

The polling makes clear that Californians like the thought of the new roads and
schools, but it also turns up the same distemper and desire for change that
afflicts voters nationally. Schwarzenegger's approval rating has improved since
last year, but it still hovers under 50 percent, and the state's powerful labor
movement husbanded its resources in the primary -- unions helped Angelides, but
not all that much -- to better bash Arnold in the general. The state is in for
yet another megabucks battle this November, in which a serious liberal will
give a serious centrist a serious challenge.

In the other nationally watched contest out here, Republican Brian Bilbray eked
out a 4 percentage-point victory over Democrat Francine Busby in a special
election to succeed Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Jail) in a solidly Republican
district abutting San Diego. Each national party can take some solace in the
outcome -- the Republicans that Bilbray, hammering on the immigration issue in
this close-to-the-border district, didn't actually lose; the Democrats that
Busby, hammering on the incompetence and corruption of the administration and
the Republican Congress, came so close.

The themes of the coming election have emerged with crystalline clarity.
Democrats decry the debacles -- the war, the price of gas, the sleaze --
devised by the president and Congress. The best distillation of the Republican
campaign may be the radio ad for a North Carolina congressional challenger,
alleging that his Democratic opponent, Rep. Brad Miller, "sponsored a bill to
let American homosexuals bring their foreign homosexual lovers to this country
on a marriage visa. If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big
fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

Republicans run against one big fiesta; Democrats run against one big disasta.
Fiesta, I think, lacks the punch of disasta; but that's just my hunch: I'm not
saying it hasta.
from the Washington Post


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Barbara Ehrenreich on class

A Guided Tour of Class in America
Barbara Ehrenreich on the prey and the predators

by Tom Engelhardt
Mother Jones - June 05 , 2006

You turn into a middle-class, suburban housing project
on the periphery of Charlottesville, Virginia, and at a
row of attached homes, you pull up in front of the one
with the yellow "for sale" sign on the tiny patch of
grass. Ushered inside, you take in an interior of paint
cans, a mop and pail, and cleaning liquids. On the
small porch that overlooks a communal backyard, workmen
are painting the weathered wood railings a nice, clean
white. Later, when they're gone, we step out for a
minute, on a balmy late spring afternoon, and she says,
"You know what I need out here? Flowers!" And it's
true, the nearest neighbor's small porch is a riot of
red, orange, and purple blooms, while hanging from her
railing are three plant holders with only dirt and the
scraps of dead vegetation in them.

Not surprising really. Barbara Ehrenreich, our foremost
journalist of, and dissector of class is regularly not
here. Practically a household name since she entered
the low-wage working class disguised as herself and, in
her already classic account, Nickel and Dimed, reported
back on just how difficult it is for so many hard-
working Americans to get by. Then, a few years later,
she repeated the process with the middle class, only to
find herself not in the workforce but among the
desperately unemployed who had fallen out of an ever
meaner corporate world. Her most recent book, Bait and
Switch, The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, was
the result. Now, she spends much time traveling the
country talking to audiences about her -- and their --
experiences. She has become a blogger, is involved in
launching a new group to help organize the middle-class
unemployed, and in her spare time she's even finished a
new book.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

NCATE bows to pressure from the Right

Accreditor of Education Schools Drops Controversial 'Social Justice' Language

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education won a key endorsement on Monday in its quest for continued federal approval of its accrediting power after announcing that it would drop controversial language relating to "social justice" from its accrediting standards for teacher-preparation programs.
The council, which is the nation's largest teacher-education accrediting organization, has come under fire from conservative activists for the wording of standards that require that candidates in education programs "demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn."
The council, known as Ncate, had said that teacher candidates' "dispositions" should be "guided by beliefs and attitudes such as caring, fairness, honesty and responsibility, and social justice."
See more.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This dirty election campaign

This dirty election campaign
I have spent the last 34 years teaching young people to be social studies teachers. We start with the conception that schools are to teach reading, writing, math; and civic responsibility. Our schools were established to prepare young people for civic participation.
It is hard to teach this lesson. Young people say: they are all corrupt. The rich own the politicians. And, of course, they are substantially correct. All you have to do is look at the Enron story, or World Com., and their relationship with the Bush family and you will recognize that the rich have looted our nation’s democracy. [Recommend, see the video: Enron: The smartest guys in the room]
But now the California election is adding to the cynicism. The two major candidates on the Democratic Party side are spending up to $60 million to convince voters (and young people) that the other candidate is corrupt, purchased, and controlled by big money. Now, a $60 million media buy has an effect. It teaches people that our elections are corrupt, purchased, and dirty. After seeing the ads you could well conclude that they are all dirty.
I recognize that the campaign managers each think they must do this to compete. They know that negative ads work. But, they are also teaching cynicism, hopelessness and despair. No. This is not OK.
I am deeply offended by this campaign, the campaign managers, the media advisors, and the candidates. You have sullied our democracy in pursuit of a very narrow victory.
And, one of you will win. All of this negative campaigning will weaken you in the Fall against Schwarzenegger.
Duane Campbell

Organizational statement against NCLB

Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act
October 21, 2004 (list of signers updated May, 2006)
The undersigned education, civil rights, children's, disability, and citizens' organizations are committed to the No Child Left Behind Act's objectives of strong academic achievement for all children and closing the achievement gap. We believe that the federal government has a critical role to play in attaining these goals. We endorse the use of an accountability system that helps ensure all children, including children of color, from low-income families, with disabilities, and of limited English proficiency, are prepared to be successful, participating members of our democracy.

While we all have different positions on various aspects of the law, based on concerns raised
during the implementation of NCLB, we believe the following significant, constructive
corrections are among those necessary to make the Act fair and effective. Among these concerns are: over-emphasizing standardized testing, narrowing curriculum and instruction to focus on test preparation rather than richer academic learning; over-identifying schools in need of improvement; using sanctions that do not help improve schools; inappropriately excluding low-scoring children in order to boost test results; and inadequate funding. Overall, the law's emphasis needs to shift from applying sanctions for failing to raise test scores to holding states and localities accountable for making the systemic changes that improve student achievement.

Recommended Changes in NCLB

Progress Measurement

1. Replace the law's arbitrary proficiency targets with ambitious achievement targets based on rates of success actually achieved by the most effective public schools.
2. Allow states to measure progress by using students' growth in achievement as well as their performance in relation to pre-determined levels of academic proficiency.
3. Ensure that states and school districts regularly report to the government and the public their progress in implementing systemic changes to enhance educator, family, and community capacity to improve student learning.
4. Provide a comprehensive picture of students' and schools' performance by moving from an overwhelming reliance on standardized tests to using multiple indicators of student achievement in addition to these tests.
5. Fund research and development of more effective accountability systems that better meet the goal of high academic achievement for all children

6. Help states develop assessment systems that include district and school-based measures in order to provide better, more timely information about student learning.

7. Strengthen enforcement of NCLB provisions requiring that assessments must:
· Be aligned with state content and achievement standards;
· Be used for purposes for which they are valid and reliable;
· Be consistent with nationally recognized professional and technical standards;
· Be of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under the Act;
· Provide multiple, up-to-date measures of student performance including measures that assess higher order thinking skills and understanding; and
· Provide useful diagnostic information to improve teaching and learning.

8. Decrease the testing burden on states, schools and districts by allowing states to assess students annually in selected grades in elementary, middle schools, and high schools.

Building Capacity

9. Ensure changes in teacher and administrator preparation and continuing professional development that research evidence and experience indicate improve educational quality and student achievement.

10. Enhance state and local capacity to effectively implement the comprehensive changes required to increase the knowledge and skills of administrators, teachers, families, and communities to support high student achievement.


11. Ensure that improvement plans are allowed sufficient time to take hold before applying sanctions; sanctions should not be applied if they undermine existing effective reform efforts.

12. Replace sanctions that do not have a consistent record of success with interventions that enable schools to make changes that result in improved student achievement.


13. Raise authorized levels of NCLB funding to cover a substantial percentage of the costs that states and districts will incur to carry out these recommendations, and fully fund the law at those levels without reducing expenditures for other education programs.

14. Fully fund Title I to ensure that 100 percent of eligible children are served.

We, the undersigned, will work for the adoption of these recommendations as central structural changes needed to NCLB at the same time that we advance our individual organization's proposals.

Advancement Project
American Association of School Administrators
American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA)
American Association of University Women
American Counseling Association
American Dance Therapy Association
American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Annenberg Institute for School Reform
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)
Center for Community Change

for the entire list, go to Fair Test. Click on the title above.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ravitch and Meire : a neo con finally sees part of reality

An important essay in Ed Week. Click on the title. It is a link.

"Almost all the usual intervening mediators—parent organizations, unions, and local community organizations—have either been co-opted, purchased, or weakened, or find themselves under siege if they question the dominant model of corporate-style “reform.” All the city’s major universities, foundations, and business elites are joined together as cheerleaders, if not actual participants, offering no support or encouragement to watchdogs and dissidents. This allows these elites the opportunity to carry out their experiments on a grand, and they hope uninterrupted, “apolitical” scale, where everything can, at last, be aligned, in each and every school, from prekindergarten to grade 12, under the watchful eye of a single leader. If they can remain in power long enough, it is assumed (although what actually is assumed is not easy to find out) that they can create a new paradigm that no future change in leadership can undo.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.