Teachers union leaders, entrepreneurs talk; no one injured

CHARLOTTE, NC: The leaders of the two major US teachers unions, together representing about 4.7 million teachers, talked with two leading education entrepreneurs in a panel that I had the honor of moderating in an event connected with the Democratic National Convention yesterday.

The event was sponsored by Democrats for Education Reform, as a follow-up to a pivotal event that DFER sponsored in Denver before the 2008 Democratic convention. It was there that Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, historically, said, “We, as Democrats, have been wrong on education, and we have to get right.”(I’m relying on my memory for that quote, but it was a pretty mesmerizing moment.) It was an undeniable turning point in the relationship between the Democratic Party and bold, innovative reforms.

As for yesterday, some have argued that the real news was just in getting union leaders and reformist entrepreneurs to the same table. I think there’s more than that… I look at the areas of surprising agreement and disagreement, and even offer some multiple-choice matching fun, on the NewSchools blog.

UPDATE:Interesting reference to this panel in a new piece in the Atlantic about Michelle Rhee.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Tilson

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