Friday, June 22, 2007

The Forum for Education and Democracy

Jim Garrison pointed me to this website for The Forum for Education and Democracy, which also has a blog. It's unclear exactly what they are doing, although there is this project page and they did publish this report on Guiding Principles for NCLB. The participant list is pretty impressive. Overall it seems like just another shell organization. To the extent to which it is as "empty" as it seems (the website looks like this even though the Forum was founded over a year ago), it may embody how education usually deals with "education and democracy".

Note also how their statement on NCLB lists relating schools and communities together as one of their three top goals, but how it appears in only one out of the six actual recommendations. Community engagement sounds good, but usually gets only pretty vague lip service. There seems to be a broader policy document related to the short recommendation piece, so maybe there's more there.

Maybe someone else knows more.

1 comment:

teacherken said...

I know a bit about them. In fact, I have blogged about them several times at dailykos and elsewhere. I know George Wood, and have been in electronic contact with Angela Valenzuela over the years.

They are committed to the principles of Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools. Also, several of the principals have been very active in lobbying on NCLB, and are active participants with Monty Neill of Fairtest in the Forum for Educational Accountability.

You will note the several of the people are or have been directly involved with schools. Wood left Miami University to take over as principal of Federal Hocking. Deborah Meier has run schools in both NY and MA. Pedro Noguera was if memory serves at one point n the school board in Berkeley CA.

These are people committed to a more democratic approach to education, in every possible sense of democracy. It is a good group of people, and yes, they are worth following.