2012 Democratic Party Education Platform

I shared last week the Republican Party platform on education, so it’s only fair to share the Democratic Party’s education platform now that their platform was released on Monday and approved on Tuesday at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.  So below are some excerpts of note that relate to K-12 education.

First a veiled reference to Race to the Top and the Common Core State Standards:

President Obama and the Democrats are committed to working with states and communities so they have the flexibility and resources they need to improve elementary and secondary education in a way that works best for students. To that end, the President challenged and encouraged states to raise their standards so students graduate ready for college or career and can succeed in a dynamic global economy. Forty-six states responded, leading groundbreaking reforms that will deliver better education to millions of American students. Too many students, particularly students of color and disadvantaged students, drop out of our schools, and Democrats know we must address the dropout crisis with the urgency it deserves. The Democratic Party understands the importance of turning around struggling public schools. We will continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.

Then they focus on teachers…

We Democrats honor our nation’s teachers, who do a heroic job for their students every day. If we want high-quality education for all our kids, we must listen to the people who are on the front lines. The President has laid out a plan to prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers. This includes raising standards for the programs that prepare our teachers, recognizing and rewarding good teaching, and retaining good teachers. We also believe in carefully crafted evaluation systems that give struggling teachers a chance to succeed and protect due process if another teacher has to be put in the classroom. We also recognize there is no substitute for a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.

I wholeheartedly agree with their statement that “there is no substitute for a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.”  My question is this – will they work toward policies that honor the parent’s sovereignty in their child’s education and foster the parent’s role as chief stakeholder?

Also will “raising the standards” for teacher preparation programs mean federal involvement with colleges?  What is President Obama’s plan to “prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers”?  Another stimulus?  It sounds like an increased Federal role to me which I reject.