Complex web of education politics at work--- The emergency supplemental appropriations debate in Congress last week brought to the surface in dramatic fashion last week the complexity of education politics these days. Consider these dynamics:
A guns-or-butter debate between Republicans and Democrats;
A reform vs jobs argument within the Democratic Party;
An equity vs excellence issue for reform-minded many civil rights groups;
The Obama Administration was forced into a nasty corner---having to threaten a veto of a help-the-troops bill which would save teacher jobs but upset favorite ed reform strategies. Hmmm it was not a choice that Obama wanted to have to make during an election year. This episode surely demonstrates why ed politics, and ESEA reauthorization in particular, is so tough to navigate. Great political skill and leadership are needed to get it done Where are you, Ted Kennedy?