Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Strange bedfellows

In a perceptive new blog post, David Blatt at the Oklahoma Policy Institute points out that on educational issues in Oklahoma, "old assumptions and old alliances seem to be breaking down."
So what's going on here? At its essence, these battles represent a profound frustration and disappointment in the poor performance of public schools in low-income, disproportionately-minority urban neighborhoods and a belief that poor families deserve a wider array of choices for their children. In Oklahoma and around the country, African-American political and civic leaders, along with some liberal education reform advocates, have become vocal supporters of expanding the choices available to low-income parents through charter schools, and in some cases, private school vouchers. ...

Not too long ago, the education debate at the Capitol did not extend to much more than funding, teacher pay and class sizes. As the debate has broadened to include such issues as charter schools, testing, merit pay and tenure, new perspectives, new alliances, and new conflicts have emerged.

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