More Reax & Mea Culpa

Over at Twitter I have a short thread on why I’m feeling optimistic. There are going to be some bumps but Trump is on his way out. I also think political tension is generally a good thing, keeps everyone on their toes and drives progress. And might have some in the wake of this election. I don’t mean the kind of tension we’ve had these past four years where you never knew what might happen. Rather, the kind where parties and candidates genuinely compete for votes rather than taking people for granted. That’s the kind of environment where education policymaking is creative and thrives.

In terms of election predictions, I got it right that Biden had more ways to win than Trump and that was important, that’s paying big dividends for him and why he’ll almost certainly prevail. And I caught some grief for saying that the demographics might surprise. And the reasons I identified for how Trump might be able to stay in the fight have happened to varying degrees.

But, I forecast a bigger wave. Still some vote counting – and actual voting in Georgia – to come, but a 52-48 Senate or something close seems a reasonable bet, which is exactly what I predicted. I just got the partisan control exactly backwards…that’s no small thing. Collins surviving was a legit surprise and a real credit to her, and I thought a few other races would break for the Dems given all the advantages of this cycle for them. A lot of outstanding races in the House but the Dems didn’t have a good cycle there and no coattails. Dems obviously keep control but seem on track to lose seats.

There is a message in this for the Democrats and some political risk.

One response could be to circle the wagons. You’re already hearing that this is the exact wrong time to get bold on education. But another might be to get serious about competing for votes at least some Republicans are clearly coming for in future elections. One place that’s bound to happen is around school choice. That would be good news because it would force a debate into the option about choice or alternatives to it. And at least from where I sit I’m not sure how you talk about building a more inclusive America without talking about empowering the poor with more educational choices and power.

A Democratic agenda that emphasized investing in education and addressing the historical inequities that exist in school finance and other aspects of the education system and expanding power for parents – seems politically potent and well timed.

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