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April 20, 2018
National head of DFER after Colorado Democrats’ platform vote: ‘We’re not going anywhere’
Education reform has become an increasingly divisive issue within the Democratic Party.
getting to know you
August 30, 2017
Colorado conservatives are pressing Republican gubernatorial candidates on education policy. Here’s how.
The conversations are designed to help voters better understand where conservative candidates stand on policy matters such as school choice and standardized testing.
May 21, 2017
Head of Democrats For Education Reform blasts DeVos, calls push for vouchers a ‘sideshow’
Chalkbeat sat down with DFER’s president Shavar Jeffries to ask, what now?
Follow the money
October 18, 2016
Colorado teachers union, reform groups find common ground on shifting political power on state board
Plus, the state's largest teachers union, in a rare move, is supporting a Republican for a state House race.
SBE races get interesting
October 22, 2014
Reformers, unions spending big on Democratic State Board candidates
A political committee affiliated with Democrats for Education Reform has spent nearly $126,866 in two State Board of Education races where teachers unions also are supporting Democrats.
May 15, 2014
New report finds low performance pervasive in southwest Denver schools
Few of southwest Denver’s high school graduates go on to college and even fewer have the preparation they need for college courses, according to a…
October 1, 2010
The education governor's race: A Paladino and Cuomo primer
You may have noticed that we have a governor's race going on in New York. But amid the love children, viral cell-phone videos, and upsetting e-mail forwards, policy issues are getting even more overshadowed than usual — including where the two candidates stand on education. To remedy this, I've compiled a brief primer outlining the education stances of the Democrat, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and the Republican, Tea Party-ite Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, the state's attorney general, sides with Obama and Bloomberg on education. (Photo via ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/saeba/4015439957/sizes/m/in/photostream/##Flickr## user ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/saeba/##saebaryo##) Andrew Cuomo HIS CAMP: Cuomo is framing himself as the great hope that Democrats for Education Reform activists once dreamed David Paterson would be — a "Barack Obama Democrat" on education, as one source put it to me. (Or, you might say, an "ideolocrat.") Cuomo kept himself out of the Race to the Top legislative battle (at least publicly). But his published platform mirrors DFER's insistence on raising the cap on charter schools, and it quotes charter supporters' warning that a union-backed push for more public consultation before opening a charter school would have amounted to a "poison pill." WHAT HE MIGHT DO: Cuomo's decision to affiliate with DFER, Mayor Bloomberg, and the entrepreneurial camp on schools gives him a potentially long education wish list. That's because almost all of the changes favored by these reformers are legislative; teacher tenure, "last in, first out" firing patterns, teacher pensions, and charter school growth are all matters of state law. While other state Democrats (namely Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver) have allied themselves with the teachers union, Cuomo could act as a counter-force pushing for more changes to the state's education law. It's worth noting that nearly all of the education agenda Bloomberg laid out this week on NBC would require changes to state law.
February 8, 2010
Education groups giving funds but not taking sides in gov.'s race
Major state education stakeholders are funneling money to both sides in the not-yet-official-but-looking-likely gubernatorial primary contest between Governor David Paterson and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. But donors say that although their gifts coincided with increased speculation about Cuomo's entry into the governor's race, the donations are more a reflection of what they want to see happen now than a sign they're taking sides in a future race. The state teachers union, which vigorously opposed Paterson's recent attempt to raise the cap on charter schools in the state without additional restrictions, gave $8,400 to Cuomo in the middle of December. That donation followed a $10,000 gift to the attorney general last June. Union spokesman Carl Korn said that the most recent donation was an indication of support for the attorney generals' crackdown on predatory lending to students and not a forward-looking political move. Cuomo has so far kept quiet on his views on charter schools and recently refused to comment on whether he supported Paterson's push to increase the number of charters allowed under state law.
December 16, 2009
Lobbying group opens an outpost in Michigan
The lobbying group Democrats for Education Reform got its start in New York, but is spreading fast. Its latest branch is in Michigan, where it's going by MDFER (a bit of a mouthful). With chapters in five states, the organization is halfway to its goal of being in 10 states by 2011. DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM ESTABLISHES MICHIGAN BRANCH TO ADVANCE STATE'S EDUCATION REFORM EFFORTS AND APPLICATION FOR "RACE TO THE TOP" FEDERAL FUNDING LANSING, MICH - December 16, 2009 - A new political action committee, Michigan Democrats for Education Reform (MDFER), was formed today by Michigan Democrats who believe systematic reform and innovative approaches are essential to solving the state's most serious education challenges. MDFER recognizes that a unified effort is required to provide Michigan families with better opportunities for quality public education, while improving the state's chances of winning up to $400 million dollars in "Race to the Top" federal funding.
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