Steve Newton is blogging again and has been prolific thus far. He has jumped in on a variety of issues with his unique and thoughtful analysis and internet web gems like the study on the efficacy of diversity training.
Of significant note, Steve blogs education issues and the hot ones since he started blogging again have been charter schools and school board elections. Since we are taking a break after all the venom about charter schools, Steve has joined the fray on elections.
The hot buttons are money and where it comes from, playing nice, and Kilroy’s Delaware’s role in the blogging space of education and elections. For those uninitiated, there is a 501(c)4 called Voices 4 Delaware Education Action Fund (as an aside I find it hilarious that the alt character on the #4 on a keyboard is, drum roll please: $) that has backed “issues” since they can’t back candidates and they do so by disparaging sitting boards and highlighting their preferred candidates without saying “vote for” or “elect” (known as magic words in 501(c)4 land). Steve wants the world to know that this 501(c)4 is merely acting to counteract the longstanding stream of money coming from teachers unions to support their candidates.
I want the world to know that too, in fact Steve had a very good blog post mocking my “realization” of this point which I found to be clever and on point. I detest the 501(C)4 approach because is allows, in this case, a cast of Delaware (and at least one from Ohio) characters to send messages to voters somewhat anonymously. Greg Harris, Paul Herdman, William Keenan and Sylvia Banks would all be completely nameless if it were not for bloggers chasing down incorporation paperwork, making connections, and then trying to make counterpoints.
And that’s where I’m at. Making informed decisions is key. Just like our policy makers and Governor routinely ignore research when making policies about everything from merit pay, to teacher evaluation, to completely blowing up under performing schools without engaging the community, to the indignity of topicless 90 minute PLCs…to the….well, the list is seemingly endless, I do not want voters to make a selection without knowing that the money on one side supports certain things and the money on the other side supports other things.
We make these conclusions most easily by identifying the people in the organization and reflecting on their actions. It seems to me that by choosing to remain anonymous, these folks do not want us to pay attention to their actions….it’s almost like they are sending out these messages and then saying this:
meanwhile the house of Delaware Education is on fire and exploding, right in plain sight.
I’ve made no pretensions about who I back: I back educators.
I believe we need more educators on school boards so we can make better education decisions. I do not understand how the Business Roundtable, Rodel, Vision 2015 and Innovative Schools fit into a PUBLIC system, other than as vendors and ideologues bent on making themselves feel good about helping create a system where kids can test but not think.
Which brings me back to Steve. He makes me think. And he signs his own name. Two traits that have me back everyday to his blog. Keep up the good work Mr. Newton.
I’m waiting for the sun to go down in the West…..