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Presidential Race 2016: ‘No Appetite for Education Reform’

Presidential Race 2016: ‘No Appetite for Education Reform’

While serious education reformers might be anxiously anticipating Michael Bloomberg to announce a presidential run as a third-party candidate, The Seventy-Four contributor Andrew J. Rotherham doesn’t think America is ready to hear about his known successes in education reform.

"In the mayhem of the primary season, being associated with education reform is inversely correlated with success. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has a good (and somewhat Bloomberg-like) education record: Ask him how it’s working out on the campaign trail,” Rotherham says.

So while Bloomberg might be the most likely candidate to get serious about telling his story about reforming schools and being an “unapologetic charter school/accountability advocate,” those outside the realm of education might not be ready to listen.

“There were clear wins in New York” under Bloomberg’s leadership, Rotherham says.

"Graduation rates soared, more than 90 awful schools got closed and about 140 charters schools were opened — schools that researchers say are outperforming traditional schools with similar student populations.”

"All New York families, including middle-class parents hoping to raise children in the city, now have fresh options,” Rotherham says.

Of course, Bloomberg wasn’t perfect and has certain blemishes on his difficult task of leading the largest school district in the country. But regardless of his success or failures, his record of education reform doesn’t fit into “the politics of the moment.”

“...the path to that catalytic moment runs through an angry electorate and a gauntlet of issues that, unfortunately for Mike Bloomberg, have little to do with one of his strong suits — schools,” Rotherham says.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/1/2016

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