This Week’s Russo notes that since its inception the New America Foundation hasn’t been much of a player on education policy. True enough, and it’s in no small part because their “big idea” for schools was a ridiculous proposal to nationalize education funding and distribute it through universal vouchers — a facile Frankenstein of Third Way thinking where two lousy ideas are melded together and called a grand compromise. It’s been a frustration for many eduphiles because NAF has a stable of really interesting thinkers and a lot of good stuff on a lot of issues comes from there.
But as Russo notes they’re bulking up their ed policy shop and as Eduwonk said back in June he’s more confident that the addition of former Kennedy aide Michael Dannenberg portends good things than Russo apparently is. Already Dannenberg floated a provocative and interest-group enraging compromise idea on the whole Katrina voucher debate and now that he has his 1st Amendment rights fully operational Eduwonk expects good eduideas to start flowing out of NAF.