Education Insider: Implications of the Midterm Elections
Elections matter. Some register as mild tremors, others bring fundamental shifts in the direction of government and/or the relationship of the citizenry to their elected officials. Yet the election itself is only the first part of a two act play -- the second, perhaps the more critical part, is governing. Specifically, how does the message that the voters impart via the ballot box impact the adoption and implementation of the laws and regulations of the nation.
This year's election could have a tremendous impact on the direction of education policy in the country. With the potential for a change of party control and new leadership on the education committees of the Congress, as well as changes resulting from the 37 gubernatorial races throughout the country (including many Race to the Top winning states), what were priorities during the past two years may not be the priorities of the next two years.
On issues ranging from the future of the adoption of Common Core Standards to the key principles of a possible ESEA reauthorization, as well as issues such as the Administration's efforts to regulate for profit postsecondary institutions and the budget pressures on all levels of education, many critical issues that will shape education over the coming decade will be determined over the next 24 months.
The Obama Administration has signaled that it may look to education as an issue that it may find common ground with Republicans in Congress. Yet it is not clear where the areas of agreement and tension between the Republicans and Democrats, the states and the Federal government, or the Obama Administration and various education interest groups may lie.
Our next "Education Insider" will explore these issues as we survey our insiders to gauge their reactions to the election results and gain insight on the key hurdles -- and opportunities -- going forward. Who will emerge as the major players, what will be the major issues, how will the new crop of state leaders impact what happens inside the beltway - and ultimately how successful will the Obama Administration be in attaining its education agenda -- all will be explored in detail.
If your work requires insight into these trends and likely outcomes, you canлЊt afford not to know what the most connected insiders think is likely to happen. Because elections matter...
Simon Rosenberg: President and founder of New Democrat Network, a leading, center-left think tank in Washington, DC. Rosenberg, a veteran of two presidential campaigns, including the 1992 Clinton War Room, got his start as a writer and producer in network television. He is a leading political thinker and commentator with a unique ability to identify important trends and decipher changes transforming American politics well before others.
Rosenberg has built NDN into one of WashingtonлЊs most forward-thinking policy shops. Together with Dr. Rob Shapiro, President ClintonлЊs Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and Chair of NDNлЊs Globalization Initiative, he has fashioned a unique set of messages and policies around focusing on the economic well-being of everyday people based on ShapiroлЊs early analysis that even as GDP and productivity rose during the Bush years, wages stagnated and incomes declined.
Rosenberg is a member of the Aspen InstituteлЊs 2001 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and served on the 2004 Democratic National Convention Platform Committee. He sits on the boards of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, the publication Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and the Roosevelt Institution. In 2007, Rosenberg was named one of the 50 most powerful people in DC by GQ Magazine.
Dane Linn: As Director of the Education Division at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Dane oversees all education-related policy research, analysis and resource development. He regularly provides consultation and tailored analysis to the nation's governors on a host of issues including No Child Left Behind, early childhood, elementary and secondary, and postsecondary education. Under Dane's leadership, NGA's work continues to assist governors on developing policies that increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for postsecondary education and the workplace.
Recognized as a national expert in his field, Dane has authored numerous reports on issues ranging from school finance and teacher quality to school redesign and pay for performance. He recently spearheaded NGA's national initiative Redesigning the American High School, launched by former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia during his tenure as NGA Chair. Currently, Mr. Linn is leading the Common Core Standards Initiative which is state-led process for developing national standards in English Language Art and mathematics.
Prior to his work at NGA, Dane worked at the West Virginia Department of Education where he was responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Before that, he served as legislative liaison to the House of Delegates. His professional experience in education began as an elementary school teacher and principal.
A graduate of Cabrini College, Dane received a master's degree from Marshall University Graduate College and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.