This is a guest post by Chris Stewart, the Chief Executive Officer of brightbeam. He was named CEO in April 2019, after formerly serving as chief executive of Wayfinder Foundation.
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, put together an advisory council to help his state “reimagine” public education. Fearing Cuomo and his partner, the Gates Foundation, will produce a plan that creates accountability and expectations in their public school pension farm, the NYC teacher types pounced.
“There’s no current classroom teacher on this list of advisors,” they whined.
For the record, here is Cuomo’s list of advisors:
- Kaweeda Adams, Superintendent, Albany City School District
- Jaime Alicea, Superintendent, Syracuse City School District
- Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Founder, Dance Educator Laboratory (DEL) 92Y
- Melodie Baker, Director of Education, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
- Kyle Belokopitsky, Executive Director, New York State PTA
- Meg Benke, Provost, SUNY Empire State College
- Jackie Burbridge, Parent, Suffolk County
- Katie Campos, Partner, Strategic Collective
- Anthony Collins, President, Clarkson University
- Stephanie Conklin, Master Teacher, South Colonie Central School District
- George Dermody, CEO, The Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference
- Karol Mason, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Austin Ostro, President, SUNY Student Assembly
- Martin Palermo, Master Teacher, William Floyd School District
- Roger Ramsammy, President, Hudson Valley Community College
- Seema Rivera, President, Guilderland Central School District School Board
- Shannon Tahoe, Interim Commissioner, New York State Education Department
- Dennis Walcott, Former Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
- Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
As you can see, teachers, parents, students, higher education, nonprofits, superintendents, and other education officials are represented.
Now, contrast that with the farcical “unity” education task force assembled by current and failed presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
Per Vox Media, here’s their list:
- Heather Gautney, task force co-chair and Sanders policy adviser
- Alejandro Adler, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
- Hirokazu Yoshikawa, New York University professor
- Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), task force co-chair and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
- Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association
- Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers
- Maggie Thompson, executive director of Generation Progress
- Christie Vilsack, literacy advocate
Hmmm. This feels a little paltry.
Let’s start with the fact that Sanders seems to continue his trend of giving zero effs about honest Black representation or truly addressing K-12 education’s pedagogical and social issues beyond what political neosocialist agenda setters tell him works best.
Looking at his picks tells me his post-racial disaster socialism once again proves him an unserious candidate for any post responsible for educational progress.
Now, Mr. Biden, what gives?
Together, these picks reveal why the Democrats’ education agenda is useless to America’s most marginalized students:
Their list includes:
- No school leaders who are successfully educating children deemed “hard-to-teach” by an out-of-touch education establishment;
- No classroom teachers with a track record of success;
- No parents of color desperate for improved educational options;
- No one with direct pedagogical insights into what will improve education for those who are poorly served in today’s public schools;
In short, both Biden and Bernie, when given the chance to show how genuine their interest is in educational improvement, fail the test by stacking the deck with political advisors in place of accomplished educators.
The funny thing is, none of the Badass Miseducators so abundant in social media grievance groups have come for Biden and Bernie, even as they have indignant seizures about the fact that Cuomo dare work with Bill Gates for his “reimagine” counsel in New York.
I guess that’s the surest sigh it’s all politics folks.
If you care about fixing education so it works equally well for everyone, there’s nothing to see here.
This piece first ran here.