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If SEIU and Wal-Mart Can Do It, Education Can, Too


Once again, the ideas and movement on the health care front seem to be far outpacing whatever atrophied and occasional movement we see the education front.

Two weeks ago, it was the President proposing a new $100B health care tax credit in place of the current employer based two-tiered system (Health Care Big, Education Small).

Last week, longstanding opponents Wal-Mart and the unions proposed a joint health care initiative (Wal-Mart, Union Leaders Collaborate on Health Care PBS).

What would the rough equivalent of that be in education? An NEA-Alliance For School Choice deal on vouchers? I don't know of anyone thinking big ideas out there, much less making progress on them. Wish that it were so. Let me know if I'm missing anything.

UPDATE: The ever-helpful Sherman Dorn suggests that there are grand compromises possible in education: more charters and and more union recognition.

UPDATE 2: AFT Ed is much less optimistic, based on recent experiences where folks have tried to organize charter school teachers: "It's just this sort of practice that makes me doubtful that a compromise on charter expansion and union rights is within our reach... at least for the moment."


Me too - I also wish that education made the 2008 Presidential Race - It must not be left behind!!!


It's nice to see someone attribute altruism to Wal-Mart, rather than a reaction to years of justifiably bad publicity. I'm glad to see you're comfortable with taxing health insurance, rather than providing it for all. It's nice that you're not bothered by our already having squandered our surplus and mortgaged the future of our children to pay for tax cuts for precisely the people who need them least.

And it's very nice to have yet another voice calling for "big ideas" rather than good teachers, smaller classes, and decent facilities for kids.

It will certainly comfort Mayor Bloomberg, who adores big ideas, but has no qualms about teaching kids in closets, auditoriums, bathrooms and closets, who grants sweetheart loans to sign away city parks to the rich while constructing new public schools on toxic waste fields, who builds twice as many seats in sports stadiums than he does for private schools.

I'm afraid, though, that his big ideas may rapidly be exposed for the smoke and mirrors they really are.

Unfortunately, after years of "big ideas," I can't share your enthusiasm at all.

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