What’s the difference?
Let’s look at the words of Lehigh, who wrote:
When the discussion moved to the Common Core and whether Massachusetts should stay in the cross-country curriculum, most of the candidates voiced union-courting catch-phrase concerns about “too much testing” and “teaching to the test” and averred that their priority was supporting and investing more in teachers.
Kayyem, by contrast, offered some cant-clearing candor.
“Democrats have a tendency to talk in code” on this issue, she observed, before saying that the state should stay in the Common Core. Noting that the state is currently transitioning from the MCAS to the PARCC exam, she concluded: “Let’s see how the PARCC system goes.” Her bottom line: With too many kids in underperforming schools, “we need assessments” to tell whether they are learning necessary skills.
Really. “Democrats have a tendency to talk in code?” Well, let’s examine Ms. Kayyem’s statement for any evidence that she is a Democrat in her own eyes. Is she speaking in code? Here’s a quote from a key paragraph in Ms. Kayyem’s website:
First, opportunities begin with choice and equitable access to quality schools. Massachusetts features some of the best elementary and secondary schools in the country. It also features some notorious school quality deserts where, to the surprise of few, many of the state’s most disadvantaged families live. If we are going to close the opportunity gap for these families, it begins by giving them the same choices that those in more affluent communities have. While we cannot always guarantee access to the best schools in Massachusetts, we can do a much better job of making sure that the families who need the best educational options can compete for and access them more consistently.
“Choice and equitable access to quality schools?” Where have I heard that before? Perhaps trom the Center for Education Reform:
We believe that school choice means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. It means that the quality of a student’s education should not be dictated by their zip code. A variety of school choice options exist today including tuition vouchers, private scholarship programs, and charter schools, which provide an alternative to the cookie-cutter district school model.
Or, check this out from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute:
Public Impact’s Joe Ableidinger and Julie Kowal examine the merits of the incubation model, outline specific strategies for supporting it, and profile organizations around the U.S. putting it into practice. The authors explain that through the strategic recruitment, selection, and training of talented leaders—and support of them as they launch or expand new charter schools—incubators offer charter school advocates an important tool in guaranteeing quality school choice.
School Choice Wisconsin supports expanded educational options for parents through the use of school vouchers, charter schools, and innovative public-private partnerships.
Or, the mission of Democrats for Education Reform. Scott Walker is bold in his love for charters and vouchers, but Democrats for Education Reform translates their statement of principles into code words. Code words? Of course. They are Democrats.
We believe that reforming broken public school systems cannot be accomplished by tinkering at the margins, but rather through bold and revolutionary leadership. This requires opening up the traditional top-down monopoly of most school systems and empowering all parents to access great schools for their children.
Wait a minute. Doesn’t that sound a lot like Juliette Kayyem’s statement on education?
Take some code words, add a glowing endorsement from Scot Lehigh, and you connect up with a little more of a clue about the education policy she dare not speak.