« VA Tech Shooter Wrote Disturbing Plays | Main | Power Couples In Education -- Are There Any? »

What It Takes To Be An Effective Legislative Staffer, Then And Now

I came to the Hill having been a teacher, an ed school student, and a researcher -- not from the campaign or the political side. And I came to the job actually wanting to do education. But every year I was there, I found that I was more effective the more I thought like floor staff or a press secretary. Going fast and low like that was extremely uncomfortable, but it worked, by and large. I stopped reading the reports and started bugging my LD for gossip and news about upcoming floor schedules. And I got things done, for better or worse.

Sure, education research has gotten a lot better since then, and there were (and are) lots of education staffers much much better than I was. But being reflective and opportunistic at the same time is not easy, especially given daily demands of floor statements, press releases, constituent meetings, trip and hearing prep. And it's the rare member who actually knows much more than a few things about the issues to say in front of the cameras. For better or worse, five years of talk about research-based learning don't seem to have made much of a dent on that basic dynamic, nor are they likely to change the basic shape of NCLB 2.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Patrick: A very fitting farewell. So does this mean that David read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here