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: a call for Democrats to lead on education in 2019, the Lamont/Bysiewicz education transition committee meeting, and federal school discipline.
DFER CT’s Amy Dowell penned an opinion this week, arguing that–with strong Democratic majorities in the State Senate, House, and control in the Governor’s office–it’s time for Democrats to lead on bold changes in education: “As a party, we never rest when it comes to social safety net issues that aim to protect children and families. Let’s not repeat in our schools what has proven unsuccessful in the past in the name of ‘progressive values.’” Read it here.
Yesterday, the Lamont/Bysiewicz Education Policy Transition Committee unveiled its recommendations for the state. Lamont has convened transition advisors to make proposals for the first 100 days of his administration. His policy agenda is expected to be released on January 9th, 2019. The education transition committee touched upon both short-term and long-term strategies in the areas of: early childhood, the achievement/opportunity gap, affordable higher education and career pathways, and school funding and regionalization.
The Trump administration will roll back federal policies aimed to protect students of color from unfair and discriminatory disciplinary action. Led by Education Secretary Betsy Devos, the School Safety Commission was originally convened following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida; but instead of gun violence, it has focused on rejecting race-conscious school discipline policies. (See Chapter 8 of the commission’s final report, “The Obama Administration’s ‘Rethink School Discipline’ Guidance”). They claim that the Obama-era policies discouraged schools from addressing unruly students. But DFER President Shavar Jeffries and DFER CT Director Amy Dowell have called the decision by the Trump Administration an attack on student protections and civil rights.