Once again, local Colorado politics are capturing national attention as the Jeffco School Board recall election heats up. This time, National Review offered a concise synopsis of the effort because the result of the election could have national implications. Whether it’s fair or not, education reform and union power is inextricably tied to this recall effort. Political analyst Eric Sondermann, a former Democratic Gov. Lamm staffer, told National Review:
“If these board members survive the recall, it sends a message that you can be a reformer, even do that in an up-for-grabs district and live to tell about it.”
As teachers unions across the country flex their muscles, the education reform effort is facing a tough fight ahead due to the funding advantage unions hold. This morning, parents awoke to a teachers strike in Seattle which shut down the first day of school just hours before teachers were due to report to work. We assume that strike, too, was about “AP U.S. History“.
This action follows last week’s ruling by a Washington State court declaring that charter schools were not constitutional, a court ruling that essentially forced Thompson School District to negotiate with the union, and a ruling at the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County voucher program. In the example of Douglas County; however, the district will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. That said, it’s clear that unions are working overtime (as if!) to unravel education reforms, which is sad because those reforms most benefit kids who use education to escape poverty and other challenging circumstances.
The real question is whether those who have been fighting to implement education reform will let unions run roughshod over the progress made.