Putting It Bluntly
To put it bluntly, the future of our nation’s public schools is now even more uncertain and the need to sit down with the American people and talk about it is even greater as a result of the elections last Tuesday. While much of the media coverage has focused on the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, for our nation’s public schools the most significant impact of Tuesday’s elections will occur at the state level. According to the National Journal, the governorships provided the biggest surprises of the night, with Republicans nearly running the table, mostly in Democratic states. They entered the night holding 30 governorships, a high-water mark given that most were elected in the 2010 wave. They could end the night controlling as many as 35. The prediction of a group of 50-75 influential leaders who are shaping federal education reform, including individuals who have served or are currently serving as key policy and political “insiders,” is that school choice and teacher tenure reform efforts will gain more traction while the Common Core standards will face a significant setback as a result of the outcome of the governors’ races across the country. Irrespective of our personal feelings, pro or con, regarding these and other education reform policies which are currently in place, one thing is certain. They will significantly impact our schools and communities.