Quick! Tell me who won last year’s Oscar for Best Picture.
That is nearly the value I place on Party platforms. After the convention, nobody remembers them. But if you’re going to get into the fight for the Democratic Party nomination, and the platform fight is part of that process, then be in for a dime – in for a dollar.
Former Arne Duncan Department of Education mouthpiece Peter Cunningham says the platform adopted (Get this: “behind closed doors”) “abandons Democratic Party core values” on education.
Well, it is about damn time.
Democrats are now against “high-stakes standardized tests that falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities, and English Language learners as failing.”
Peter hates that.
Democrats are also against “the use of standardized test scores as a basis for refusing to fund schools or to close schools.”
Democrats are also against “the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations.”
And, Democrats are now officially supporting parents who “opt their children out of standardized tests without penalty for either the student or the school.”
Next, we support only “democratically governed great neighborhood public schools.” That excludes all schools in cities without elected school boards and will be unwelcome news to leading Democratic Mayors like Bill de Blasio of New York and Rahm Emanuel of Chicago.
Yes, Peter. We in Chicago have definitely noticed we don’t democratically govern our schools.
Cunningham even has reservations about the rather tame criticism of charter schools: He calls it “extreme” that the Democratic Party supports “high-quality public charter schools,” as long as they don’t, “replace or destabilize traditional public schools.”
The Democratic Party’s platform on education has some pretty good stuff.
If anybody remembers it after the convention.