(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Fantastic article on the struggle between the teacher’s union and Stand for Children in Oregon, where the NEA affiliate has suffered the first setbacks in recent memory. Too much good stuff for a mere money quote, go read the whole thing.
The struggle in Oregon is a microcosm of a greater battle going on within the Democratic Party between the Waiting for “Superman” liberals and teacher unions. Progressives can either have education progress or a lockstep alliance with education reactionaries, but they cannot have both. The opening of the article makes this point well:
Last week, Gov. John Kitzhaber and his allies rammed a dozen education bills through roadblocks erected by the 48,000-member Oregon Education Association.
A coalition of Kitzhaber, House Republicans, a few Democrats willing to buck the teachers’ union, and newly emboldened interest groups handed the OEA its biggest policy setbacks in years.
“There is a strong desire for real movement forward on education, and people were willing to break a few eggs to get there,” says Rep. Chris Garrett (D-Lake Oswego), one of three Democrats who voted “yes” on HB 2301, a controversial online charter-school bill that catalyzed the breakthrough.
Last week I gave a well earned congratulations to Rep. Matt Wingard for his dogged pursuit of reform. Democrats such as Governor Kitzhaber and Rep. Garrett displayed great courage in bucking a major faction of their own party, and Stand for Children is obviously winning the battle for hearts and minds.