For Democrats and education reform, the times they are a-changin’

We want to spotlight two new videos that highlight the tension – and potential for change – that we’ve been seeing all week between education factions at the Democratic National Convention. The first is from Democrats for Education Reform; the second, from TEACHED. To whet your appetite, here are some choice quotes. Remember, these are Democrats saying these things, many of whom were in Charlotte this week.

“These bureaucracies have a way of outlasting the reformers, of insulating themselves from really deep reforms … In our schools today across the country but particularly here in California, performance isn’t taken into account at all.” – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

“We have to really focus on teacher quality. We have to focus on holding our schools accountable.” – Indiana State Rep. Ann Sullivan

“We can no longer operate insanity in this country.” – Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner

“We’ve got to do radical things.” – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

“You have powers in place, and people in power, that have been around a long time and are comfortable with the way things are … We know that all kids don’t have access to opportunity. And so a Democrat who believes in education reform is somebody that’s willing to say we can do it better, and it’s okay to do things differently.” – Maryland State Sen. Bill Ferguson

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at