The bigger issue for me is the changing battlefield for influencing education policy. More and more democrats are viewing the teacher union and other traditional education associations as road blocks to change and are shifting their support to other candidates viewed as part of the reform movement. As evidenced by the last session of the state legislature, they are being heard and their voice is influencing policy decisions. The compromises on teacher evaluation and the health care authority bills are an example of this increased influence. Though WEA and others were able to keep the original legislation on both bills from passing, the compromises set the stage for continued battles and the possibility over time for groups like Stand for Children and League of Education Voters to prevail.
Who will control the future of education in our state? How much influence will educators have as components of the new funding model are gradually implemented? How can the educator voice gain credibility and influence with elected officials at the state level? These are critical questions that will require adapative answers if we are to move into the future with any probability of being considered. These other organizations are gaining credibility and will only gain momentum and support, how do we do the same? Is it ime for a dialogue with others from these organizations and, if yes, where and how will that begin?