“This is a game about power, and I think you have a vacuum on one side…She’s concluded — and I think with some wisdom — that there’s really no countervailing force that is well-funded, is well-organized. What I think she wants to build is an organization that can really step up and amass political support and play hardball.”
-Joel Klein, on the Political Education of Michelle Rhee
There is very little about educational policy on which Joel Klein and I agree. But, Klein’s point about Michelle Rhee and her Students First organization is spot on. There is a particular policy agenda that is carrying the day in education, and Michelle Rhee is quickly becoming the face and voice of that agenda. The early $uce$$ of her “movement” is unsurprising because it *is* the dominant agenda. Furthermore, as Klein points out, there is no organized counternarrative.
Here “we” are at a conference organized by educators (and students) for educators (and students), all brought together around a common set of axioms. I can’t say for sure that everyone here completely buys in to those axioms, but to me they exactly frame the counternarrative to Rhee et al. (e.g. Gates, Broad, etc.).
So, can Educon catalyze a movement? Can we use this collective experience to truly organize a counternarrative to the dominant educational policy agenda? If so, how? We’re not well-funded, but we sure are well-organized…