August 1, 2007

Sara Mead: We gotta walk the walk

Last night, former Education Sector staff member Sara Mead wrote an important blog entry as a guest for Eduwonk. She pointed out that teachers unions are not the opponents to a number of reforms supported by Andy Rotherham (Eduwonk), Joe Williams (Democrats for Education Reform), and others such as charter-schools and performance pay.

Liberal education reformers need to win hearts and minds by engaging with reform-wary lefties and taking their concerns seriously--not just calling them union hacks or accusing them of not caring about kids. We need to engage in honest self-reflection and be willing to make changes in response to valid critiques from the left. We need to avoid allying with "friends" who undermine our credibility as proponents of social justice. We need to make common cause with other progressive advocates for kids--those working on health care, childcare, and juvenile justice, for instance--rather than undermining them.

We'll see whether others share Mead's perspective; I hope so, but I am especially skeptical that Williams will change his standard rhetorical approach.  Whether that cripples the organization he directs is an open question.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on August 1, 2007 9:42 AM |