Political Courage Needed to Pick Up Pace of Real Education Reform
A bunch of political leaders are getting together with new tough talk on education reform, reports the Denver Post:
The national movement, called the Education Equality Project, began a little more than a month ago with [New York City education chancellor Joel] Klein and civil-rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton. In a short time, it has attracted an odd cast of bedfellows such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer and a handful of urban superintendents and pastors across the country.
The group’s message: In the last generation and a half, education has become too much about serving adults.
“It’s children we need to worry about,” Klein said. “Even if they graduate, they’re woefully unprepared. … Every kid should get a shot at the American dream. It’s not about politics.”
Sadly, despite exceptional success stories, today’s school system is out-of-balance – shortchanging kids and families, and favoring the monopoly interests of unions and other groups. The most encouraging thing about this Post story is seeing Democrat politicians who appear willing to stand up to the teachers unions. I look forward to seeing what happens when the rubber meets the road on the decision to stand strong or bow to union money and pressure.
Bringing balance back to the school system means empowering families with greater choice and improving education through competition. It also means high expectations and accountability – not excuses – for students, teachers, and schools. And local control at the parental and school level.
The talk about education reform continues on and on. I don’t think they’ll have it all figured out and fixed by the time I head off to school in six weeks, but maybe a little political courage will help pick up the pace.