Lessons from last week's election
November 16, 2012
I've got an article in Bloomberg View today on lessons for school reformers from last week's election. Here's a snippet.
Teachers unions remain the Goliath to the school reformers’ David, even in red states. That was the lesson from votes last week in Idaho and Indiana, where unions successfully took on or took out Republican school superintendents...
In hindsight, the losses shouldn’t have been surprising. Even when reformers outspend their opponents, the unions easily out-organize them. That comes down to simple arithmetic: With 3 million teachers and several million more bus drivers, food- service workers, aides and other staff, the public-education system is the largest employer in the U.S. These folks vote, and they make their views known to friends, family and neighbors, through traditional word of mouth and social media. They’ve even beenknown to send word via the children in their classrooms.
What lessons should school reformers take from the Indiana and Idaho experiences? Should we adjust our policies? Our tone? Our political tactics?
The answer: All three.
Read the rest here.