Updates and Observations
this week, two White Republican electors attempted political
Apartheid in plain sight in Michigan’s Wayne County, when they
initially refused to certify the vote count in the largest county in
the state where upwards of 45 percent of the voting population is
African American. After a public outcry, the vote was reversed.
nearly the same time, Sen. Lindsey Graham (D-SC) called the
Republican Georgia Secretary of State and asked him to invalidate
mail-in votes in several Georgia counties which would have swung the
state to Trump. Fortunately, the Secretary refused the request.
Trump is doing everything in his power to obstruct the orderly and
peaceful transfer of power to President-Elect Biden. And he has
numerous political sycophants at every level of government echoing
his lies of a rigged election and fraud.
Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ Minority Leader, should refrain from
commenting on the Georgia U.S. Senate elections. Republicans are
imploding. He should just let them.
most progressive House Democrats must realize that the Democratic
incumbents they defeated in primaries - e.g., Alexandra
Ocasio-Cortez v. Joseph Crowley (Inc.), Jamaal Bowman v. Eliot Engel
(Inc.), and Cori Bush v. William Lacy Clay (Inc.) - did so because
their opponents lost touch with and ignored their districts because
they had been in office so long they viewed their seats as personal
Education was the big loser in the 2020 elections. Amid a pandemic
that has claimed over 250,000 lives, Black and low-income children of
color, and others, were severely disadvantaged during the move to
remote learning. With a majority of those children living in Internet
deserts and/or single-parent poor households with limited
supervision, public education was on hold.
addition, K-12 education, other than in policy documents, was rarely
mentioned during the presidential campaign. During that silence, the
current privatization-focused Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos,
quietly pushed money to privately-managed charter schools and other
efforts to undermine public education.
has stated that he would invest in more resources for schools to
enhance students’ physical and emotional development so that
teachers could concentrate on their primary mission of instruction.
He also targeted school safety, poverty reduction, the increase in
teacher diversity, innovative schools in low-income communities,
increased funding of programs for children with disabilities, the
overall enhancement of technical education, and the expansion of
early childhood development programs.
promises are in stark contrast to Biden’s support of the
Obama-Biden administration’s passage of Race To The Top legislation
(RTTT) which mandated Draconian accountability measures for teachers
and unrestrained increases in unregulated charter schools, denying
states access to additional funding if they did not submit to these
unions played defense of K-12 public education during the eight-year
term of the Obama-Biden administration and begrudgingly endorsed the
ticket twice as the lesser of two evils. However, perhaps Obama’s
most egregious action was declining to appoint Dr. Linda
Darling-Hammond to head the Department of Education after intense
opposition from the pro-privatization billionaire Cartel that
considered her too supportive of teachers and unions.
instead promoted Arne Duncan, a close friend of President Obama who
championed the growth of Chicago’s charter schools while serving as
CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. At the behest of the Cartel and
with their funding, Duncan established a large number of them.
Darling-Hammond, who chaired Obama’s education transition team (and
is also serving in that same role for President-Elect Biden) is,
perhaps, America’s most distinguished K-12 educator in theory and
practice. She has been a public school teacher, Senior Social
Scientist at the RAND Corporation, and Professor at Columbia and
Stanford Universities, serving as Dean of the School of Education at
has published 20 books and over 500 articles and is well regarded by
educators at every level. Darling-Hammond has led policy
work on equity, quality and teaching; learning and teaching
standards; and has worked
with hundreds of schools and districts around the nation on studying,
developing, and scaling up new model schools and launching
preparation programs for teachers and leaders in public and higher
an impressive array of individuals has been proposed for appointment
as Biden’s Secretary of Education, Darling-Hammond would be the
best choice by far.
2010 groundbreaking book, The
Flat World and Education (How America’s Commitment To Equity Will
Determine Our Future),
critiques the rapid racial transformation of the nation’s public
school students now making the K-12 population majority-minority.
she is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges the nation will
face head on as the next Education Secretary and has the abilities
and skills needed to clean up the educational debris Betsy DeVos left
single presidential term of Donald Trump has left education, and the
nation overall, in chaos, disunity, debt, and with a public health
crisis. This perilous educational period demands someone who is
equipped with a broad skill-set and professional experience, who can
hit the ground running and salvage the educational futures of
generations to come. Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond would meet that
the nation’s population moves toward majority-minority status, with
many of its citizens in dire economic straits, it is imperative that
President-Elect Joe Biden appoint an Education Secretary who can give
public education an upgrade after its four-year loss of resources,
standing, and prospects. It is time for a K-12 education revival for
the profession and for us all.