July 18, 2006

Post-Bush education reform politics emerging

So what's with Morton Kondracke's column, which appeared in today's Detroit News (and presumably elsewhere)? Andrew Rotherham thinks the combination of financial reforms with performance-pay for teachers is the germ of a Grand Coalition on reforms.

Maybe.

Me, I notice there's nothing in there about school-level accountability, the heart of NCLB. Change in topics? Maneuvering room for the post-Bush years? What is true is that there are a number of organizations around the country who have an institutional stake in coming up with education policy proposals, so you're going to see education policy proposals floated on a regular basis (the policy stream bit that John Kingdon's model predicts).

So I see a few trial balloons floating up there. We'll probably see different trial balloons floated for different reasons (such as the House GOP's Grand Voucher bill that's DOA for 2006). Whether any stay afloat is a different question.

Update (7/22/06, and you don't want to know when): Rotherham responded, describing my point as that none of the ideas in play are very new. That wasn't my point (though I suppose it's true if Andy Rotherham says so). But it's too late at night/early in the morning for me to figure out if I am talking about the message or the messengers, and I suspect the answer is both: the spread of various ideas, regardless of who sponsors them, is an indication of the policy proposal process, not the politics that also comprise the broader context for policymaking.

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Posted in Education policy on July 18, 2006 9:45 PM |