Well, it’s over.
I mean OVER.
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” --André Gide
I posted some analysis of the election at the bottom of this post. But let’s move onto public education.
There was plenty of local coverage of the education propositions that passed in California: 51, 55, 58, 59.
Georgia and Massachusetts both refused to open the floodgates to charter schools. Perhaps after all the national coverage from the Network for Public Education’s Carol Burris, they saw California as a cautionary tale.
Myra Blackmon explains what’s next for Georgia here.
Edushyster tells us why the statewide ban on the charter cap went down in flames in Massachusetts.
Since the presidential campaigns included almost no talk about federal education policy, we can look to Indiana to see what is coming our way. We have good reason to believe that Mike Pence will play an active role in the administration. He already booted Chris Christie from Trump’s transition team. He’s a grown-up Republican, rather than a pre-verbal toddler. Pence speaks the language of the Republicans who still hold a sweeping majority in the House and a narrower majority in the Senate.
So let’s call Indiana the Trump/Pence pilot program.
Hoosier buddy in education? Not Mike Pence
Stop feeling reassured by checks and balances on federal executive powers. Pence is not a Republican in the traditional “local control” sense. This is the governor who signed a law that allowed businesses to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. The NCAA (that’s not a typo) pressured him to moderate it, saying they’d pull their lucrative Final Four tournament from the state otherwise.
He also signed a law preventing Indiana municipalities from passing any laws restricting the use of plastic bags.
Pence stripped the independent State Superintendent of Schools, Glenda Ritz, of most powers and created a second Department of Ed that he could control. She received more votes than he did and their terms were rife with conflict. Read about their war here.
If advocates for public education across the country fought against charters and testing with Bush/Obama, think now about a fight for local control, more testing than you can possibly imagine, school letter grades, merit pay, and federal incentive programs for vouchers in addition to charters.
Don’t tell yourself, “At least he’ll get rid of CCSS.” Out of political expedience, Pence essentially renamed Common Core for Indiana and required a new battery of standardized tests.
Vouchers are hardly ever discussed in California, but in Indiana, they’re a mainstay of “school choice.” My high school US History teacher, who now works for the Indiana State Department of Education (you can thank/blame him and a couple others for my interest in public policy), sent me this article a couple of weeks ago to explain what vouchers have done in my home state:
The report by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University called Indiana’s voucher program one of the most expansive in the country. No annual audits are required and there is no cap on the number of vouchers that are distributed. Sounds like California charter law. Poking a hole in the phony argument that vouchers are an escape ticket for poor children from their failing public school, in Indiana, most vouchers pay for private and parochial school for children who never attended public school in the first place. Rather, vouchers have proven to be an expeditious way to get the state to pay the private school tuition parents were already paying. This has reduced funding to public schools.
Remember how Race to the Top based funding to states on adherence to federal policies? Now think of Pence controlling such a fund.
Two candidates may change the entire race to try to unseat incumbents in the March LAUSD board elections, according to a City Ethics report.
Running against Board President Steve Zimmer, Allison Holdorff Polhill is an attorney, a Palisades Charter High School board member and a parent. Pacific Palisades is one of the most affluent areas in LAUSD.
Until November 2, 2016, she was also listed in the staff directory of the California Charter Schools Association as a Parent Organizer, according to my computer’s cache.
Across town, teacher Lisa Alva has rocked the “Cradle of Reform,” as board incumbent Monica Garcia calls her district, by joining the race to unseat the corporate reform queen.
Alva’s entry into the race is sure to rock the reformers' world, who will now have to divide their resources and energies. She became nationally known when she very publicly quit the reform movement. She had given Educators 4 Excellence, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, and Teachers for a New Unionism a try.
Things are about to get very interesting. I posted about this two days ago.
(Stop here if you’re tired of the Presidential election.)
More on the Presidential Election
Analysis of the election falls into two groups. Just like standardized testing, it’s either Math or Language. It will come as no surprise to those who know me (that includes you, Jose V.) that I will focus on Language.
Data ruins everything (Thank you, Rachel, for sharing):
According to Bernie Sanders’ digital creative director and Obama’s videographer, It sacrifices inspiration for incremental growth, it promotes races to the bottom, it is the walnuts on the political brownie.
Data is often cited in the U.S. as the difference between a cutting edge team and, say, the "Remain" campaign in the United Kingdom.
Still, having served in creative roles for both President Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders (videographer and digital creative director, respectively) I can tell you that data wasn’t what catapulted them into the culture and toward a metric ton of votes. It was their message, the moment, and their authentic manner that was forefront in these contests. Read more here.
For a campaign or a school district or even a school to craft an effective message, you have to know your audience. There are a few researchers who have spent the last few years studying rural America. We will probably spend the next few years studying them:
The deep story of the right goes like this
You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you're being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He's on their side. In fact, isn't he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It's not your government anymore; it's theirs. Read more here.
Backlash against big city elites
For the better part of the past decade, [Kathy Cramer] the political science professor has been crisscrossing Wisconsin trying to get inside the minds of rural voters.
…Cramer argues that this “rural consciousness” is key to understanding which political arguments ring true to her subjects…
…politics have increasingly become a matter of personal identity. Just about all of her subjects felt a deep sense of bitterness toward elites and city dwellers; just about all of them felt tread on, disrespected and cheated out of what they felt they deserved.
It’s absolutely racist to think that black people don’t work as hard as white people. So what? We write off a huge chunk of the population as racist and therefore their concerns aren’t worth attending to?
How do we ever address racial injustice with that limited understanding?
Of course [some of this resentment] is about race, but it’s also very much about the actual lived conditions that people are experiencing. We do need to pay attention to both. Read more here.
Garrison Keillor ain’t havin’ none of it
To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids. Read more here.
I’m a coastal elite from the Midwest—the real bubble is rural America
We, as a culture, have to stop infantilizing and deifying rural and white working-class Americans. Their experience is not more of a real American experience than anyone else’s, but when we say that it is, we give people a pass from seeing and understanding more of their country. More Americans need to see more of the United States. They need to shake hands with a Muslim, or talk soccer with a middle aged lesbian, or attend a lecture by a female business executive.
We must start asking all Americans to be their better selves. We must all understand that America is a melting pot and that none of us has a more authentic American experience. Read more here.
This is how the world’s best cartoonists are reacting to the presidential election results (thank you, Sharon).
We’re going to need the artists, the musicians, the writers to get us through these next years. It’s fitting that the last week has filled the airwaves with tributes to Leonard Cohen. RIP
For a chilling analysis of the election, KCRW’s Left, Right and Center discussed last Friday:
Dahlia Lithwick of Slate:
"This isn’t just about policy disagreements. This is a man who, really, in every way, telegraphed that, if you are a woman or a minority, you should be very afraid.”
David Frum of The Atlantic Monthly:
"Over the next four years, a lot of things are going to happen that are going to be very alarming and disturbing. The future of the rule of law in the United States really is in question."
"Don’t concede the flag to the people who are attacking the Republic and the Constitution. That’s not their flag. The people who are defending the Republic and the Constitution own the flag."
“It’s ALL about growing up. One of the things that has destroyed the left and one of the things that has made this victory possible is precisely that it validates feelings and self indulgence, “my identity as an—fill in the blank—over any political end.”
California's Legislative leaders issued a statement
"We have never been more proud to be Californians.
By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny.
"The largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy has shown it has its surest conscience as well.
California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.
"California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future."
Full statement here: