Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Jamaal Leads the Charge - Democrats split over Biden plan for academic testing during pandemic - Politico

A group of progressive Democrats is pushing the Biden administration to reverse its decision to require states to hold standardized testing in K-12 schools this year, reflecting a growing divide in the party over how to handle academic assessments during the pandemic.  The effort is being led by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), vice chair of the House education committee and a former middle school principal. Before coming to Congress, Bowman was a vocal supporter of the testing opt-out movement in New York. .... Politico 
Rep. Jamaal Bowman wears a protective mask while walking.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman is leading a group of Democrats to pressure Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to scrap federal testing requirements for all states this year. | Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The other day I wrote about Jamaal Bowman's connecting charter schools to the anti-labor union attacks. I see Bowman as the most advanced political rep those battling ed deform have had in congress, which makes him a very dangerous man for the educational/industrial complex and corporate Democrats.
I feel the Bowman victory is in some ways will have more impact than AOC.
I had a front row seat to the attacks on public education and teacher unions --- Jamaal Bowman.
Bowman called for a national moratorium on charter schools and pushing back against the overuse of standardized testing which has been used as a weapon to close schools and call teachers and schools failing in order to open up charters.
Bowman makes the connections between the attack on education and the general neo-liberal assault on society that you won't hear in congress very often. This makes him a very dangerous man to the corporate dems now in control...
He is the one person elected ever - even more than Bernie or AOC - who I trust on education. Bowman ran middle school classrooms - which are like mini corporations and then took a leap and started a public school - running a middle school in the Bronx may be more difficult than running the country. So he has executive skills.

One of the things the press doesn't ever mention about Bowman is how he stood up for true ed reform against the DOE goons. He worked under the Bloomberg and DiB admins and very few principals stood against high stakes testing, favored opt out, stood with teachers -- his first supporters came from the NYC ed activists who had been battling the DOE since Bloomberg came into control. With so many issues on the table I still have hope Jamaal will find time to keep some of the core ed issues front and center (word is he is asking to be on the ed committee). ... Bowman stood up to his bosses which is a very heavy lift. There are some thoughts that the Black Caucus which went in for Engel was nervous about having a voice like Bowman win and push his way into the caucus where he might challenge the hot young thing in the Dem Party, major charter school supporter Hakim Jeffries who has taken ed deform positions. I'm looking forward to that.
The UFT did not back the progressive educator in the Bowman/Engel battle who is not in favor of all the ed deform stuff that hit teachers right in the face.  The unions will make some noise about this issue this year but there is no as much heart in it as Bowman has since the UFT has not supported opt out while Bowman has.

 No matter what they say, always watch what they do - fundamentally the AFT/UFT supports testing.

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