Roy Romer-Bill Ritter Showdown Raises Questions for Friday I.I. Speaker

Over at Education News Colorado, Mr. Alan Gottlieb gives a firsthand account of a polite clash over education reform between Colorado’s two most recent Democrat governors:

[Former Governor Roy] Romer laid out the well-known, depressing facts: we are falling behind other nations in education, and we’re going to pay dearly for it soon, if we aren’t already (we are).

“We’re a third world nation in terms of our performance in math,” Romer said.

What got under [current Governor Bill] Ritter’s skin, apparently, was Romer’s repeated insistence that “we” — meaning Colorado and the U.S. are not doing enough to address this predicament. “We’re asleep, we’re kidding ourselves,” Romer said.

Ritter bounded up to the podium like an unleashed dog, and said he wished to “offer a rebuttal, in part, as presumptuous as that may seem.” Colorado is focused on the challenges, despite Romer’s criticism, Ritter said, “in a way perhaps we haven’t been before.”

With that subtle dig at the former governor, Ritter laid out his education agenda, stressing the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) legislation that passed this year. He said new standards and assessments are coming, and they will be benchmarked, as Romer suggests, to standards in more educationally advanced countries.

Are the ardent education reformers like Roy Romer – the ones willing to challenge the teachers unions – creating a rift within the Democratic Party? Bill Ritter took more than $50,000 in direct campaign contributions from teachers unions during his 2006 run for office. What has he done to really challenge their grip on the education system?

These are just a couple great questions for tomorrow night’s speaker at the Independence Institute:

Last month, a group of national and Colorado Democratic leaders met in Denver to vocally challenge the teachers union and the status quo in education. Organizer of the event and Democrats for Education Reform executive director Joe Williams will discuss the education reform movement within the Democratic Party, and his book Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education (I hear a limited number of free copies of Williams’ book are available to current teachers who RSVP and attend).

Friday, September 19, 2008

5:30 pm Reception
6:15 pm Program

Members, Educators, and School Board Members Free • All Others $5

Independence Institute Offices
13952 Denver West Parkway (Building 53), Suite 400
Golden, CO 80401

Call Nancy at 303.279.6536 or click email link below to RSVP.

Can’t come? Listen live at
Tune in at 6:15 pm MST.

RSVP for this Event

I hope to see you there!