In the News: Hard Questions as Education Reform Wakes Up to Trump’s America

While education reformers were busy last week writing about what the election of Donald Trump would mean for education policy, Chalkbeat’s Elizabeth Green wrote about what the election results meant for education reformers.

ednext-nov2016-blog-ototn-trump-reformersShe speaks with some education refomers struggling with the question of which children reformers should be focused on helping.

Several education leaders I talked to were struck by the wave of white working-class voters, including many rural and rust-belt Americans without college degrees, supporting Trump. By focusing their efforts primarily on improving schools for black and Latino students living in urban communities, has the education reform movement missed another group facing economic challenges and in need of better educational opportunity?

This question is one that Robert Pondiscio has written about here and here.

Elizabeth Green further notes

Questions about which communities education reformers should serve come at a time when the group is divided on the role of race in their work. As the Black Lives Matter movement took off, some reformers increasingly adopted the language of anti-racism as a core component of their education work. Others, meanwhile, urged reformers to drop that mantle, which they saw as unnecessarily divisive.

Education Next last month published a series of articles from a variety of perspectives on education reform’s race debate.

Green concludes her article with quotes from some education reformers expressing hope that “struggling people of all races can ultimately create a new coalition behind school reform.”

– Education Next

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