Friday, August 1, 2014

Randi/Mulgrew Pal Steve Barr to Head Anti-Union DFER California

Hmm.. Steve Barr of Green Dot charters and then the pretentiously named “Future is Now” charters was always a favorite of Michael Mulgrew and the UFT. Several of his charters were started in NYC w/ their enthusiastic agreement. Wonder if they’ll still love him so much.... Leonie Haimson

Of course they still love Steve Barr, who never changed his true anti-union stripes, but allowed MulGarten to straddle the ed deform fence.

Barr is one of those edu-industrial complex deformers who can't get a real job.

 Steve Barr to head DFER CA


image from

DFER California is re-launching operations for 2014 and beyond, kicked off with a few events and announcements (see press release below).
As a big part of that effort, DFER has hired Steve Barr to be the state chapter head.  Former state legislator Gloria Romer was the previous head.
Barr founded Green Dot Schools and more recently headed FIN Schools, which I'm told has been winding down its operations in recent months.

Previous posts:  Pro-Charter Dem PAC Expands To CA [2010]; Strange Times In California [2012]; Green Dot & Steve Barr Finalize Their "Divorce" [2011]; Barr Nonprofit Re-Focuses On Teacher Advocacy [2013]
Education Leaders, Teachers and Community Members in Long Beach Join the Effort in Building a Stronger Public School System in California
LONG BEACH, CA (July 30, 2014) – Today, California Democrats for Education Reform held the first event of its Campaign for Great California Schools, a statewide initiative to build a strong public school system through community consensus.  California DFER leaders were joined by Christopher SteinhauserSuperintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, and Virginia TorresPresident of the Teachers Association of Long Beach, to address a packed room at The Grand Long Beach on the need to scale up best practices and build consensus around common sense education reform.
“The schools that fueled the brain-power behind the creation of Silicon Valley and the aerospace and defense industries have descended into a political system rife with dysfunction,” said California DFER Chair Steve Barr. “We used to have the best public school system in the world, and we can again if we all come together, create an army of concerned citizens and agree upon common sense reforms.”
“Our number one task is to see every student succeed every day,” said Torres. “We need to look at the larger picture, we need to attract teachers and retain them, which is done through collaboration and planning so we can make Long Beach a place they want to build a career.”
“California has shining examples of great public schools that can be replicated in communities across the state – and we should scale up those best practices, but we lack the political consensus to make common sense reform a reality,” said Joe Boyd, Moderator and former Executive Director of Long Beach Teachers Association. “California DFER is committed to listening to teachers, parents, and community leaders, in an effort to create political consensus necessary to implement these reforms and best practices.”
“We have to agree to disagree, and then agree on how to move forward in the future to build sustainable school systems,” said Steinhauser, a voice for common sense in the school reform debate and a leader among urban school superintendents.
“The future of the conversation is based on collaboration with community stakeholders and parents because schools are not operating in a vacuum,” said Juan M. Benitez, Ph.D.,Associate Professor and Executive Director, CSULB Center for Community Engagement. “We need those who are impacted by our decisions invested in the decision making.”
At the end of the gathering, attendees signed a Commitment Card to join the effort to forge political consensus and make common sense reforms in California public schools.
California DFER will continue traveling the state listening to teachers, parents, union leaders, community leaders, business leaders and elected leaders to assemble and challenge a workgroup to form recommendations that fit in 21st century schools.  For information on upcoming events, visit the California Democrats for Education Reform Facebook page at and follow @CaliforniaDFER on Twitter.

California Democrats for Education Reform aims to promote progressive changes in support of strong school systems through political and community organizing, media and other avenues. The organization is committed to listening to teachers, parents, and community leaders, in an effort to build consensus around common sense education reform. Steve Barr, Chair of California Democrats for Education Reform, is among the most accomplished school reformers in the country – best known for founding Green Dot Public Schools, one of the nation’s most successful charter school networks, while embracing teacher unionism. Partnering with Steve is Joe Boyd, a former union organizer with over two decades of experience, and a talented team of community organizers and teachers. California Democrats for Education Reform will challenge and assemble a work group of education experts, union leaders as well as successful reform leaders and legislators to form recommendations for common sense education reforms that fit in 21stcentury schools.

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