Will Democrats Unify Around Education Reform

As the nation’s Democrats come together in Philadelphia this week for the Democratic National Convention, they focus on developing strong party unity. They also need to unify around a platform that pushes education reforms in our urban centers.

As a Democrat, I want to hear about education reform. The party’s platform has changed during this election cycle. Democratic education reformers such as Ed Post’s Executive Director Peter Cunningham and DFER’s (Democrats for Education Reform) Shavar Jeffries feel the party platform has gone soft on school choice and accountability.

This is probably a popular stance to take at the Democratic National Convention, with party faithful and labor delegates. Our party’s nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her team had to put out some major fires this week as the DNC convention kicked off this week with a lot of division and drama. But the larger number of Democrats who live in America’s cities support school choice and want all schools held accountable for properly educating their children.

You can’t have one without the other. Will this week’s convention rhetoric be about unifying party delegates at the convention in Philadelphia or will it be about implementing the change that our phenomenal presidential candidate has talked about for “all” Americans?

Once the convention is over Thursday night, the millions of Democrats who live and struggle in our inner cities want to know how will the presidential candidates improve education for children of color. These Democrats are parents, educators and community leaders who deal with the every day struggles in our community. They will not be at this week’s convention in Philadelphia, but their party leaders must represent them. Many of these issues are a result of an education system that is “not” effectively educating all of our children. And these kids are sent into the world without the tools they need to soar, so they fail.

This cycle has to cease. We cannot talk around and “politicize” improving education. Our nation is suffering for it and it will continue to get worse. When it comes to our kids, we need action. Not talk. We are losing a generation of kids and all of us will pay for it. 

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