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Who You Calling "Status Quo"? [UPDATE]

Beets_600 I heard some interesting things last week when I had the chance to talk with Larry Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute and chairman of the Broader Bolder effort.  Check it out below.

UPDATE:  Mishel writes in to correct the record noting that BBA is only against ‘narrow test-based accountability’ -- not any use of tests -- and that BBA has as much support from the civil rights community as the other side.  Speaking of the other side, Mishel provides what he says is the original list  in support of EEP, which includes just 22 signatures (EEP signers.doc).

Last but not least, in response to several queries, the beets signify nothing.  Just a nice picture.

Mishel say that the BB rollout and its 60 signatures was timed for the end of primaries, not at all to influence the Presidential -- not entirely believable but maybe.  Mishel also says that there was no High Noon showdown between the two groups just before the two manifestos were released in which each group tried to get the other to stand down or compromise.  I guess I'll have to give up on that  scenario for now. 

About the two agendas, Mishel suggests that the EEP thing seemed to have been pulled together at the last minute, is nothing more than the unholy spawn of EDINO8 (others say it's Bloomberg), and had only 12 signatures at the start.   (I think EDIN08 only wishes that it had concocted the EEP idea and have no idea about the signature count or funding sources.)  Now, he says, the EEP agenda has been hijacked by McCain, who then conflated their agenda with vouchers in his opinion piece.  Mishel wonders how the Obama folks feel about EEP having gone to McCain for support (though BB has Republican signers, too.)

He says that he and his group are "not surrendering any ground on school reform or accountability," just that they don't want it all to be test-based. He objects to the notion that a call for a bolder, bigger agenda somehow gets translated into being for the status quo because of the education piece.  "Isn't NCLB the status quo?" he says.    (The BB group includes such old school standardistas as Diane Ravitch and Bob Schwartz, FWIW.)

Last but not least, in a comment posted to this blog earlier in the week, Mishel says that the Democratic platform in fact includes several components of the BB approach. 


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