These days, it looks like B4K is a bit cooler to the idea of vouchers than E3 was under Bradford; a little odd considering he used his life story to sell the idea of vouchers while he was at E3. And while B4K took over the spotlight, E3 seemed to disappear - until now:
Does that strike anyone else as a bit defensive? Was Alworth worried that a lot of folks in the reformy world were thinking what I was thinking: that B4K was taking the spotlight, and E3's time had passed?The new group will join another stalwart of the voucher wars, Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), now in its 13th year. E3 is a cosponsor of the rally on December 1 and also continues media buys across the state, with funding as well from the Walton Foundation.Norm Alworth, president of E3, said he's pleased with the addition of the Eriksen's group to put more feet on the ground at a time when the legislation may be closer than ever to passage."We are alive and well, doing better than ever and right in the thick of it in making sure this gets done," Alworth said. "And it's great to have as many groups as possible engaged to make sure it happens." [emphasis mine]
(By the way - last I checked, Alworth was the Interim President, having previously served on the board of directors for E3. He said here he wanted Bradford's old gig; I guess he got the job. He has zero experience in education, which makes him a perfect replacement for the last guy. )
We've seen some of this before:
I know it sometimes seems like the pot of billionaire money is endless, but there is a limit to the number of six-figure jobs available pushing corporate "reform." I mean, these swells didn't get rich just throwing good money after bad. And Tom Moran only has so much space to give to these guys to spout their ill-informed views. At some point, one of these reformy shops is going to have to come out on top, and that's where the money will flow.Recently, I was in a meeting with a colleague from the public sector and the subject of education advocacy organizations came up --- in reference to those groups working nationwide as well as those already in or slated to come to New Jersey. Before the discussion even started, my colleague stopped and rolling his eyes said, "Oh that's right...I've heard you advocacy people don't play nice in the sandbox together." This surprised me, as I hadn't realized education advocates had a reputation of not working well together. My colleague, however, assured me that this was common knowledge.Why it's hard to play nice: If you think about it, the ugly truth is there seem to be many reasons education advocates might not get along --- all of which tend to involve resources. There is a limited donor pool interested in advocacy, a limited number of political leaders willing to take on the issues, a limited number of experts who can speak with authority to those issues, and a limited attention span of the public and media to compete for. Even more, it's difficult to prove worth and earn credibility when so many factors play into the outcome of education policy and legislation. [emphasis mine]
Until that day arrives, we can all just listen to them tell us how "pure" they are because - unlike teachers - they don't have a financial stake in the game.