Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Democrats for Education Reform

Is this too much to ask for?

I guess it's a start. I'll be more upbeat when they challenge the NEA on something big.

Update, 7/12/07: Joanne brings up similar issues.


allenm said...

The impetus has been there for a long time, it just takes a while to make things happen.

Like I've blabbed before, the charter school issue in particular and public education in general have a greater importance among black voters then white. Support for alternatives, like charters, is also higher.

That's a real problem for the Democratic party as dependent on the black vote as they are. There's no easy answer to the question of "Stick with the NEA and risk the black vote or support educational alternatives and anger the NEA"? Democrats for Education Reform provides a partial answer; at least black voters now have somewhere to go that's still under the Democratic party banner.

The schism in the party is ripe for exploitation by the Republicans but I don't see that happening. This issue has been hard to miss for a decade yet the Republican party has managed to miss it completely. I don't see the Repubs suddenly developing some modest canniness on the politics of public education so DfER has a good chance of providing an alternative in the Democratic party for disaffected black voters who'd be tempted to be more independent.

Of course, the DfER just moves the problem from the electorate to the party. Now the Democratic party has to decide whether to try to accommodate DfER or undercut them. Either way, I'm happy.

Darren said...

I see no reason to think this organization has anything to do with blacks. Why should it, they're going to vote 9-1 Democrat no matter who runs. Very easy to ignore.

Unknown said...

I have no problem voting for Democrats. I wrote my Democrat Sheriff's name in on my Republican primary ballot last time around. It's liberals I won't vote for -- particularly for any position having to do with the law (Sheriff, judge, prosecutor, etc.)

Democrats and liberals aren't necessarily the same, particularly in good, conservative districts, like this one, or states, like Indiana.

Ellen K said...

It doesn't surprise me that Ruben Navrette wrote one piece. I have read a good deal of his work and although a self-proclaimed Democrat, he's no liberal. I truly do believe that the majority of people may label themselves one way or another, but that most people are in the 80% of the middle of the political spectrum. It's the media that panders to the extremes because controversy makes news and news makes money. Do you know any current newspaper that isn't more tabloid than journal?

allenm said...

The issue, educational choice, is what makes it a racial issue.

It doesn't matter if DfER exists specifically to target black voters or not. The interest black voters have in education reform, as evidenced by their significantly greater support for educational choice, is what makes it an issue that divides, to a certain extent, along racial lines.

More important then that though is the dependency of the Democratic party on the black vote. Anything that threatens to undermine black support of the Democratic party is serious stuff since the party's hanging onto viability by a thread. DfER provides a bridge from the Democratic party to black voters getting impatient with the pace of education reform. A constituency that important has to know that they'll find a sympathetic ear in party. Otherwise they'll go looking for that sympathetic ear somewhere else.