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Update: So DFER Is Liberal & Pro-Union Now?

Work-clockThe Obama administration and many school reform organizations and talking heads were noticably AWOL during the Wisconsin decertification debate last winter, or appeared on the scene only belatedly to offer their support for collective bargaining rights. So it was interesting to hear DFER's Joe Williams express what sounded like pretty strong concerns about the linkages between reform and anti-unionism in Claudio Sanchez' NPR piece last night:  "The notion that education reform could get wrapped up so closely with attempts to eliminate collective bargaining has made it very difficult to have this conversation all over the country."  DFER is described as a liberal organization in the piece, which I don't think is accurate.  DFER often fights to remove charter caps, and eventually came out against Scott Walker et al last winter.  

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You captured my thoughts exactly. He was followed by Mike Petrilli. I rarely agree with Petrilli, but his words mean something. For DFER, words and numbers are just weapons for defeating enemies, and they have no qualms about saying anything to advance their cause. I may be naive, but education politics should take a higher road. After all, the children are watching.

This isn't making sense, as efforts to eliminate teachers' right to collective bargaining are the heart and soul of education reform. There has been no pretense otherwise. Can someone enlighten me?

A good follow-up question for DFER then, is if Joe Williams is being sincere, why would EdReformNow - a board that he sits on, give money to AFC specifically for the WI Recall fight, to defend the guys & gals who voted to takeway collective bargaining.

EdReformNow didn't give AFC money for the WI recall fight. That is how I would answer Teresa's follow-up question.

My comments on NPR focused on the landscape as it exists post-Wisconsin. I wasn't lamenting anti-teacher blah blah, or even commenting on whether ed reform should or shouldn't get wrapped up in the fate of collective bargaining. I was quoted saying that the link between the two, post-Wisconsin, has generally made these discussions more difficult. And I stand by that.

More here: http://www.dfer.org/2011/02/dfer_on_wiscons.php

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