Since I entered teaching, I have fought to change the status quo that routinely delivers dysfunctional schools and low-quality teaching to students of color in low-income communities. I have challenged inequalities in financing. I have helped develop new school models through both district-led innovations and charters. And I have worked to create higher standards for both students and teachers, along with assessments that measure critical thinking and performance.
Isn’t ”if you’re explaining you’re losing” a cardinal rule of politics? The subtext of her letter is really more about who gets to claim the mantle of “reformer.” The Los Angeles Times (HT: Flypaper) notes LDH’s well-publicized criticism of Teach For America ”give us little confidence that she would support innovative approaches to education.” The paper isn’t giving blanket support to the self-described reform camp, however, noting that while it would be a shame for the reform movement to lose momentum, ”reformers must be open to how badly No Child Left Behind itself needs reform.”
“After years of public battering, schools need a leader who is less an ideologue than a pragmatist,” the Times concludes, “who puts children ahead of both union and political priorities.”