Joe Williams Helping Charge to Push Democrats toward Education Reform

A recent USA Today article talks about how the Democratic Party’s national platform is taking small steps away from the teachers union-defended status quo:

The ink is barely dry on the official document, which outlines the party’s guiding principles, but it shows that in this fall’s general election, Democrats will stake out a few positions that unions have long opposed.

Among them: paying teachers more if they raise test scores, teach in “underserved areas” or take on new responsibilities such as mentoring new teachers.

Hooray for small favors. But there’s one comment in the article I especially wanted to bring to your attention:

“If ever there’s going to be a time for change, this is it,” says Joe Williams, who heads Democrats for Education Reform, a centrist group with ties to the Obama campaign. He says the new platform has a greater emphasis on educational equity for poor and urban students. “We feel like this is a conversation that Democrats should be in on.”

Democrats for Education Reform was the group that sponsored the recent event here in Denver where Democrat leaders called the teachers union on the carpet. That was neat, but there is more to come.

Even more exciting, you need to save the date for Friday, September 19. Details are being finalized, but Joe Williams is slated to be a guest speaker at an event hosted by my friends at the Independence Institute. Stay tuned for more information. I’ll be posting on that.