Reform: Rapid Response in Connecticut
Most education reformers and funders don't come from politics or organizing so they are loathe to set up or pay for the kinds of "rapid response" operations that professional political operatives use to help minimize the damage that constant attacks can create.
But -- like the first-term Obama administration with death panels and birthers -- they're starting to learn that there's a price to pay for letting attacks stand, no matter how extreme or ridiculous they may seem.
One small example is CT Education 180, a relatively new spinoff of ConnCAN set up to respond to attacks on elected officials and others who are getting torn down online and in the mainstream media.
Its stated mission is "setting the record straight on education reform, and exposing those who are more interested in self-preservation than doing what’s right for the more than 65,000 kids in Connecticut who are stuck in low-performing schools."
Eventually, reform advocates may have to not only create and fund rapid response operations like this, but also efforts to criticize their antagonists. But I'll save that for another post.
Right now, reformers are fighting with both hands tied behind their backs -- refusing to defend themselves vigorously or in any organized fashion, much less to attack those who are pretty much their sworn enemies at this point.
It's noble, I suppose. But even as someone with plenty of complaints about the reform agenda and implementation, it's hard to watch.