“If we as community members don’t commit to this public institution that we fought so hard for generations ago, we’re going to lose control of it,” says Brooks. Her message resonated with Philly’s voters, and thrilled the audience of teachers and activists who were on hand in Pittsburgh to hear a long list of presidential hopefuls weigh in on the future of the country’s schools. But just outside of the convention center, on a rain-slicked plaza, the resistance to the Democrats’ leftward swing on education was on vivid display. Over 100 charter school parents, part of the same school choice network that disrupted an Elizabeth Warren campaign event last month, came armed with a message of their own: Black Democrats support charter schools. Welcome to the Democrats’ school choice wars. For the last three decades, charter schools have attracted bipartisan love, amassing an unlikely—and unwieldy—amalgam of supporters along the way: GOP free marketeers, civil rights advocates, ‘third way’ Democrats, and hedge fund billionaires. But in an era of fierce political partisanship, that coalition is now unraveling....
In Philadelphia as in Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland, and elsewhere, the popularity of charter schools has come up against the unpopular consequences of their dramatic expansion: the loss of neighborhood schools and the jobs that go with them, the turmoil of school closures, and the demise of political influence that follows in privatization’s wake.
The attacks on Dems who reject charters are that they are pandering to the unions - which is sort of funny for those of us who opposed charters from the very beginning and found our teacher unions waffling and even siding with charters at times. Here is a key point in her article:
For the past three decades, the Democratic establishment has embraced more and better education as the sole fix for the country’s economic woes. An emboldened left-wing now loudly rejects that view in favor of much more aggressive redistributionist policies, viewing the embrace of school privatization as just another in a long list of party missteps. The charter school wing, meanwhile, is also home to the centrist Dems and Wall Streeters who are the loudest opponents of the party’s left-wing tilt.I maintain it was this waffling that allowed the Dem Party to go full bore on charters - Imagine if the unions had said to Obama flat out - NO WAY!