Sid Salter: Education reform can’t be partisan effort

Consider the sea change on the issue of Common Core. Over the period of two years, we’ve seen the state move from business groups touting the public education initiative to seeing Tea Party groups and others rally against it.

Public pressure, media pressure and the new influence of social media pressure certainly can and still does move public policy as it did in 1982. But when education reforms become too tightly intertwined with partisan infighting, party discipline kicks in at the Mississippi Capitol these days in the same manner that it long has on Capitol Hill.

The fight over Initiative 42 illustrates that fact. Such an initiative seeking to usurp legislative authority over K-12 education never came forward when Democrats had the kind of control over state spending that Republicans now enjoy.

Democrats, Republicans and independents alike want a viable school system in Mississippi that produces competitive students with the skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce. That was true in 1982, it’s true today.

Clarion Ledger
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/04/25/salter-education-reform-partisan-effort/26386867/
4/26/15