I saw an email this morning from Joe Williams, founder and executive director of Democrats for Education Reform. Receiving such a message is not a noteworthy event in and of itself. But the beginning of the message caught my eye:
Five years ago today a bunch of us set out to try to change our party. We wanted to put an end to the days when the Democratic Party was the place where good education reform ideas went to die. We were frustrated but hopeful, despite the long list of skeptics who warned us we were wasting our time. Along the way, many of you like-minded activists – already working to improve education in your communities – joined forces with us and a political movement was born.
Five years ago today, huh? Happy 5th Birthday, DFER! Unlike me, may your 5-year-old status not be perpetual. I fully expect that on this date in 2013 you’ll turn 6. And I’ll still be…. let’s not get into that right now.
Anyway, my Education Policy Center friends find it hard to believe that it was close to four years ago they hosted a visit from Joe Williams, who not only headlined an in-house event but also appeared as a guest on Jon Caldara’s TV show and on an iVoices podcast. Times seemed so different then. A major financial crisis had begun, the stock market was in the middle of crashing, and a Democratic president was just about to be elected. And (gulp)… I had barely begun blogging here!
Though we don’t always agree, we certainly appreciate some of the work DFER has done nationally and here in Colorado. My hope is that in the next five years, by the time they reach 10 (while I linger on at 5), that they grow bolder in their fight for student-centered reforms as a priority over adult interests. 2017? I can only imagine what learning will look like then….