The Caveman Strikes Back

Ugg me hatem ed reform!

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So one of the most interesting K-12 developments over the past decade has been the Rise of the Cool Kids. The cool kids include a large Teach for America alumni network, and a great many others as well. Most of the Cool Kids seem to be Democrats, but Democrats who have come to realize just how urgently we need to reform our K-12 system, and precisely who stands in the way. It has been interesting to watch as the most liberal President in many decades carefully distanced himself from the K-12 Caveman wing of the party, and repeatedly identified himself with the Cool Kids. Examples include supporting the lifting of charter caps, support for tenure reform, even support for the Rhode Island decision to fire an entire recalcitrant staff at a poorly performing school.

The Caveman is now striking back, and a war between the Cool Kids and the Cavemen has spilled out into the open. Caveman wants to pay for $10 billion K-12 bailout to the states by raiding Race to the Top and other Obama/Duncan reform funds. The Caveman’s puppets in the House just passed this bill by attaching it to an Afghanistan supplemental appropriation. Obama has threatened to veto.


10 Responses to The Caveman Strikes Back

  1. Greg Forster says:


  2. Mike says:

    Who do you think wins a fight between cool kids and cavemen?

  3. matthewladner says:

    I think the Cool Kids will ultimately win this fight. I think that as we drift closer to the 2012 election, the Caveman will gain ascendancy.

  4. concerned says:

    Once again, I don’t follow your logic. Who the heck is Caveman? (I “get” the Cool Kids part…)

    Are you trying to assert that fiscal responsibility is a characteristic of cavemen??

  5. matthewladner says:

    Cavemen are anything but fiscally converative. Cavemen = education union reactionaries.

  6. allen says:

    Angling for a program on the Comedy Channel, Matthew?

    What’s interesting to me about the Rise of the Cool Kids are the changing political forces that allow that rise. TFA and Democrats for Education Reform and all the rest didn’t just spring up because of the inherent rightness of their cause and the purity of their souls. They sprang up because there are political forces allowing them to rise.

    As I’ve written before, I believe that rise is fueled in no small measure by the widespread dissatisfaction of black voters.

    Forced to choose between two traditional Democratic party supporters, some Democrats are sticking with the teacher’s unions and some are supporting black parents. I believe Obama’s fairly explicit reform policy is due to having had an opportunity to understand the political importance of that rising level of dissatisfaction.

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