Tag Archives: Hatfields

Odd Trio of Gingrich, Sharpton, and Duncan Hit Road for School Reform

What a crazy world we’re living in these days! Last week I pointed out how a voucher group is working closely with the union on a private school teacher training project… Hatfields hugging the McCoys? Well, here’s another example of strange bedfellows — Education Week blogger Alyson Klein notes that an odd trio is running around together promoting school reform: In case you missed it, it basically involves Rev. Al Sharpton and former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich high-fiving and fist-bumping and telling everyone about how their similarities on education policy transcend their differences on… just about everything else. They’re pro-charter, pro-merit pay, pro-accountability, and they play well with all sorts of audiences. At the convention, a room full of conservative Republican delegates gave Sharpton a standing ovation, while, during the inauguration festivities, a crowd at an inner-city high school in majority black and Democratic D.C. took cell phone pictures of Gingrich (although he kinda got upstaged by another Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona). Well, now U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is hopping on the tour. Now you know how important the cause of education reform is: Newt Gingrich, Al Sharpton, and Arne Duncan are on the same […]

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Teachers Union Hearts Voucher Group? Hatfields-McCoys Kiss and Make Up?

I’m too young to be shocked by it, I guess, but a news story in today’s St. Petersburg Times certainly raised a few eyebrows around here in the Education Policy Center. If this doesn’t make you do a double-take, I’m not sure what will: In a move that experts are calling nearly unprecedented, the Hillsborough County schools and teachers’ union have joined forces with a nonprofit Florida voucher group to help train private school teachers. Step Up for Students — which runs the state’s tax credit voucher program — plans to spend at least $100,000 on classes for teachers who serve its scholarship students, among the county’s most economically disadvantaged children. The school district and union will provide space in the jointly developed Center for Technology and Education. “Bottom line is these are our children, they are disadvantaged children, and they often return to our public schools,” said Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers’ Association. “I want them to get the best possible education, wherever they get it.” Hey, did I read that correctly?

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