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REFORM: Rethinking The Conventional Wisdom

While the selection of Arne Duncan and other recent events may make it look like the more centrist (aka "reformy") crowd is tromping the more traditionally liberal (BBA) reform crowd, there are a couple of counter-examples that bear noting: 

Cover_newyorker_190Linda Darling-Hammond could still end up as a muckety-muck in the Department or as a special assistant in the West Wing.

Centrist advocates like DFER had to throw BFF Joel Klein overboard in order to avoid seeming to have gone too far to the right.  Watch your back, Rhee.

During his time in Chicago, Duncan spent way more time arguing for more resources and better programs as he for merit pay and charter schools.  Hated AYP, too.

The $100B education funding in the current stimulus package over all seems to focus more on resources for schools than on accountability or charters or merit pay. So much for reform out the gate.

Last year saw a rebirth of traditional Democratic education advocacy (in the form of the BBA) and the rebranding of NCLB as a comic punch line. 

President Obama has no real record (beyond generally supporting charters and performance pay) of going against his base. 

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