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Warning About the Democrats for Education Reform

Democrats for Education Reform[sic]

What We Stand For

* We support policies which stimulate the creation of new, accountable public schools and which simultaneously close down failing schools

* We support mechanisms that allow parents to select excellent schools for their children, and where education dollars follow each child to their school.

* We support governance structures which hold leaders responsible, while giving them the tools to effectuate change. We believe in empowering mayors to lead urban school districts, so that they can be held accountable by the electorate.

* We support policies that allow school principals and their school communities to select their teams of educators, holding them accountable for student performance but allowing them flexibility to exercise sound, professional judgment.

* We support clearly-articulated national standards and expectations for core subject areas, while allowing states and local districts to determine how best to make sure that all students are reaching those standards.

Board of Directors

Alan Bersin - Member of California Board of Education, former California Secretary of Education, former San Diego Schools Superintendent, former U.S. Attorney for Southern California, member of Harvard University's Board of Overseers. More.

Kevin Chavous (chair) - Former Washington, DC, City Council member and chair of the Education Committee.

Tony Davis - Anchorage Capital, board chair for Achievement First East New York, in Brooklyn.

Charlie Ledley - Cornwall Capital, NYC, board member and treasurer of Harlem Village Academy [Rupert Murdoch gave them 5.5 million in May 2009] and Leadership Village Academy Charter Schools.

Rafael Mayer - Co-founder and managing partner, Khronos LLC, board member for Planned Parenthood of NYC, KIPP AMP, and The Dalton School.

Sara Mead - New America Foundation, former analyst for Education Sector and the Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

John Petry - Gotham Capital, co-founder of Harlem Success Academy Charter School, NYC.

Dianne Piche - Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, former national field coordinator for NARAL, part-time instructor of education law, policy and ethics at the University of Maryland - College Park graduate school of education.

Andrew Rotherham - Co-Founder and Publisher, Education Sector, former White House education advisor to President Clinton, author of the blog, Eduwonk.com. And served on the Broad Prize for Education Review Board.

Whitney Tilson - T2 Partners and Tilson Funds, vice chairman of KIPP Academy Charter Schools in NYC, co-founder of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. [founding member of Teach for America]

Caprice Young - President of the California Charter Schools Association, former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education [defeated by union challenger], and former assistant deputy mayor in Los Angeles.

(Note - Organizations listed here are for identification purposes only and do not imply an endorsement or affiliation.)

The DFER Board of Advisors

William Ackman - Founder, Pershing Square Capital. His game is to drive up the stock and get out -- fast.

Steve Barr - Founder and CEO, Green Dot Public Schools.

Cory Booker - Mayor of Newark, N.J. [named a political hustler by Black Commentator.] More. And more.

David Einhorn - Founder of Greenlight Capital, LLC.

Joel Greenblatt - Founder and Managing Partner of Gotham Capital.

Vincent Mai - Chairman of AEA Investors, LP.

Michael Novogratz - President of Fortress Investment Group.

Tom Vander Ark- President of the X-Prize Foundation. More.And More. And more. And more. And more.

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) Reformer of the Month: Senator Michael Bennet (Colorado) More. And more. And more.

by Joe Williams
Starting this month, every time there is a full moon (or something like that) we'll be popping a new education reformer onto our web site and bestowing all sorts of DFER love, glory, honor and praise upon them. But as we all know in politics, glory doesn't pay the bills. So we need you to pony up too for the candidate's cause. The idea is to give early and often to help that candidate's run for office.
This month's honoree is United States Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado.) We've done several events with Sen. Bennet in recent months, but we are looking for education reformers from coast to coast to make a grand statement about reform politics by chipping in now. A thousand contributions of $25 or more will send quite a message. (More info on Sen. Bennet is on the link below.)
Sen. Bennet, because he was appointed to his post earlier this year (causing him to leave his job as Denver Schools Superintendent) is under the gun to raise a lot of money quickly to fend off any potential challengers fo r his 2010 run. Your support today will help keep an important voice for reform in the Senate.

Michael Bennet was appointed to the U.S. Senate after serving as Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools. He attracted national attention for instituting one of the most innovative merit pay systems in the country (with the Sen. Bennet at M&D's teachers union members' support). He hit the pavement to bring students back into the system, while closing failing schools so that those students would return to a renewed system. During his tenure at DPS, he advised then-candidate Obama on education issues and was a short-list candidate for Secretary of Education.

Bennet is already a crucial part of the discussion in the Senate and within the Democratic Party about what meaningful education reform will look like. Here's what the Denver Post had to say: "U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet staked out his claim to help shape national education reform," announcing in his maiden speech on the Senate floor that he would draw up comprehensive legislation by year end. The bill could include some of the most critical elements of a national reform agenda supported by the Obama administration and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: merit pay for teachers, voluntary national standards, and evaluations of students' performance as they advance from grade to grade, known as longitudinal tracking."

— Joe Williams
Democrats for Education Reform





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