Joe Williams, a longtime education reporter and the newly minted Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform, put together some wise words for an op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Daily News. Reflecting on how the recent win for charter schools is nonetheless burdened by legislative sops to teachers unions, Williams writes:
A backlog of proposed schools and long-planned applications for new charters will mean that reformers will soon find themselves right back in Albany begging for the cap to be raised once again. And special interests – notably, teachers’ union leaders – will again try to stop them in their tracks to preserve a status quo that is working just fine for everyone but our children.It is time to put to rest the tired notion that what is best for union bosses is also what is best for students, teachers and schools.
Williams goes further to lay out the challenge that faces fellow Democrats:
Many Democrats in particular will find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between, on the one hand, a reform-minded governor who is responding to a frustrated public and, on the other, to entrenched political forces that have proven to be more than willing to simply continue along without making important changes that would make excellence commonplace in our schools.
(Hat tip: Whitney Tilson’s School Reform Blog)