If you haven’t been over to RealClearEducation today’s a good day to go. We’ll have video from the panels at this morning’s launch event later. Right now there are key links from around the education world as well as original commentary by Massachusetts teachers union leader Paul Toner and North Carolina high school student Joshua Mathew. Here’s our newsletter from today, which goes out in the morning, you can sign up here to receive it free each weekday:
It’s March 12, 2014. We’re starting our day near Capitol Hill at the RealClearEducation launch event. An all-star line-up of analysts and experts will look at some hot current issues as we formally launch the site.
On RealClearEducation, we have original commentary by Massachusetts teachers union leader Paul Toner and a piece by 16-year-old North Carolina student Joshua Mathew, as well as plenty of links to a variety of news, analysis, commentaries, and reports. You can find just a few of them previewed below, and we’ll update them during the day. We’ll bring you more of our Morning Commute interview with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) tomorrow.
On Capitol Hill this morning, congressional hearings are looking at student loans and charter schools. Two contentious issues highlighting how empiricism and values both matter to education policy decisions. As a field, education does not do a great job unbundling the two and weaponizes evidence while pretending many policy fights aren’t fundamentally about values tensions.
Eighty-four years ago today, values tensions were erupting in India as Ghandi launched his Salt March. A master of political symbolism Ghandi understood how much symbols, like making salt without paying tax, mattered. Public schools are a potent symbol here at home, and that’s why the debates about them can be so strident. Yet it does not seem that any faction in the education debate has effectively mastered the political art of symbols. One side says its opponents are billionaires, financiers and stooges for the one percent. That side says its opponents don’t care a whit about children. Both are unrecognizable distortions. But more to the point neither is a symbol that inspires or rallies people to action. One of the most potent symbols in our democracy – the public school- remains a jump ball.