You Go Sacramento!
From the Sacramento Bee:
From Open Left (a news blog) a comment from a reader:
Here is Sacramento, parents and teachers working together just soundly defeated a well-financed slate of school board candidates championed by Kevin Johnson, our-wanna-be-strong-mayor-so-he-can-take-over-the-city-schools-just-like-his-friends-Fenty-and-Bloomberg. That Johnson is also Michelle Rhee's fiancee must be noted...with Rhee out of a job, folks in Sacramento are on high alert that she may be headed our way.
Former teacher and critic of so much of the reform agenda, Tom Torlakson was just elected CA Sup of Public Instruction. In the primary he defeated state senator Gloria Romero, who was supported by the billionaire boys and the big charter school lobby. In the wake of her being relegated to the sidelines by the voters, she is now vowing to bring DFER to the Golden State. Should be interesting to see how that goes...my bet is with parents and teachers.
DC Mayor Adrian Fenty was shown the door by voters who used the election as a referendum on his Michelle Rhee-orchestrated education agenda...state senate candidates in NYC also were defeated in primary races where ed reform was a front burner issue. State and local pols need to understand that they can and will lose over public education issues, no matter what Obama thinks and says.
Folks still care about their local schools...they will still get out there and act. Progressives need to recognize this and get in the local trenches and fight from the ground up...you all might be surprised how many allies of all political stripes you find fighting right next to you.She goes on to say how it's done (and this is exactly right):
Just know this election featured the local teachers' union not only endorsing but sending teachers out walking and phone banking five days/nights a week for the entire month of Oct. Teacher canvassed neighborhoods around their schools and wrote post-cards out to voters at Friday night postcard and pizza parties. (A couple of political consultants--and they work both state and local races--told me that they know "classroom teachers" remain the ticket in local races...they still consistently come out higher than any other group that can endorse...)
Parents organized scores of house parties and walked and phoned themselves. Teachers, parents and supportive community members either joined or attended local political clubs (Women Dems, Sac County Dems etc.) and successfully worked for endorsements of the most progressive candidates.
Teachers and parents joined together to protest the opening of "Waiting for Superman" and received sympathetic press coverage as a result. Our Broad-trained Superintendent even wrote a letter to district staff (later carried by local blogs) and deliberately distanced himself from the "Superman" message.
At the same time, and separate from the effort, parent groups began screenings of "Race to Nowhere" in the evenings at local schools (this film by the way is beginning to suck the oxygen away from "Superman" at least around here, among parents and even our Superintendent.)We have so much work to do, and still some very bad policies to turn around or shut down altogether, but at least some space..
It can be done. Maybe not the same things but we have the ability to make change happen.