In the WaPo Lindsey Layton dives deeper on the election and teachers unions. My view on the election and education via TIME is here. Joy Resmovits wraps-up here. And Rick Hess hosted a debrief yesterday, you can watch here on C-Span. Update: And here’s Hess’ election wrap.
Couple more election thoughts. First, with regard to Common Core, the coming new assessments and all that. If you get in the wayback machine to 1996 it’s worth remembering that it was conservatives and liberals that did in President Clinton’s proposal for a national test – which looks pretty modest in hindsight! Prior to that it was the same coalition that did in national standards when President Bush and President Clinton tried (at one point together) in the early 1990s. President George W. Bush was able to get past that coalition with No Child Left Behind but that owed a lot more to a party seeking to support its president than a fundamental shift in the Republican party on education. In 2010 and 2012 we’re seeing the twilight of a strong pro-equity view on the federal education role within the Republican Party. Jeb Bush, Condoleeza Rice, and that wing of the Republican party have their work cut out for them.
Second, on discernible education patterns from Tuesday’s election I’m tossing out what I see as two outliers. Yes voters in California approved a tax increase measure, but voters elsewhere curbed taxes. It’s hard to see what happened in California as a broad signal on spending. California is an anomaly because the severe budget problems there have resulted in real and visible cuts in education. But overall various tax measures were a mixed bag indicating that voters are split on this issue, as they are on other issues. And even some measures that were defeated, for instance a pension curb in Illinois*, garnered majority support nonetheless. And that question from this year’s Gallup/PDK asked about education versus deficit reduction remains telling: At the national level voters want something done about the debt.
The other anomaly is the Florida church-state referendum that was defeated 55-44. It had education implications, but was fundamentally a test run at getting “Blaine Amendments,” which regardless of your views on church-state issues don’t have an appealing pedigree, out of state constitutions. Overall charter schools had a very good night Tuesday in state and local elections and because there was a lot going on around the amendment in Florida that was not education-specific I would not read too much into it from an education choice point of view. As a church-state issue, however, it’s significant.
Finally, a lot of talk about Indiana and Tony Bennett but no one mentioning that a pretty pro-reform school board was elected in Indianapolis on Tuesday. That’s going to stir things up in that city, which is quietly one of the nation’s most interesting on education policy and politics.
Do you know a great teacher? You are a great teacher? If you’re reading this at least one of those must be true. So consider nominating for a Fishman Prize from TNTP, the process is open now.
A great recognition and award for College Summit’s JB Schramm.