This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. This week: Dems Facing Wedge Ed Issues, and How to Support Those in Need.
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!
Dems Must Lead on Ed Issues to Win Midterms
This week, DFER’s national team and Murmuration released a new poll conducted by ALG Research, finding that for many voters in the Virginia gubernatorial election this month, education was a motivating issue. While Democrats were once considered the party of education, the press release observes that Dems have recently ceded ground in that arena to Republicans. DFER National President Shavar Jeffries warned that the poll outcomes suggest leadership on education concerns is likely to be a driving factor in the 2022 midterm elections. “This isn’t about culture wars,” he said. “It’s about frustrated voters—and parents—who want to be heard and who want increased opportunities for their children.”
The story echoes recent news in Connecticut about the extent to which wedge education issues are impacting local politics. Sunday's The Day explored different perspectives regarding the much-discussed idea of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools. And Monday’s Hartford Courant had a story on how the inclusion of socio-emotional lessons in schools has prompted similar political reactions. Many schools across the country have recently launched mental health initiatives focused on helping students to unpack their emotions and empathize with those who are different. But to some, topics like gender equity have been misrepresented as harmful and divisive agendas bordering on indoctrination. West Hartford Superintendent Tom Moore compared these reactions to the criticism surrounding the alleged use of CRT in schools.
False flag or not, Democrats must quickly learn how to take the lead on education issues like academic excellence, support for students in schools, and safety if they want to win over anxious parents. After all, as Groton Democratic Board of Education member Katrina Fitzgerald pointed out, “the primary concern among parents,” is not the debate over CRT, but “getting kids caught up from the pandemic.”
In the Spirit of Thanksgiving...
… here are a few Connecticut-based charities that we think are doing great work supporting children by combating hunger, expanding access to mental health services, and welcoming and supporting newly immigrated families to our state. Give if you are able!