John Thompson Offers Some Recommendations for the Democratic Platform

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John Thompson has some good ideas to improve the Democratic party platform, from a teacher’s point of view.

He adds his suggestions to the platform language, in bold:

Democrats will invest in early childhood programs like Early Head Start and provide every family in America with access to high-quality childcare and high-quality pre-K programs. … To close the opportunity gap, we also must find ways to encourage mentoring programs that support students in reaching their full potential and make schooling a collaborative, team effort.

We must renew and expand our commitment to Community Health Centers, as well as … full-service community schools.

Democrats are committed to reforming our criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration. … We need to provide greater investment in jobs and education, and end to the school-to-prison pipeline, by funding Restorative Justice programs and opposing the mass suspension of students from No Excuses charter schools.

Democrats believe that we should not be contracting, outsourcing, or privatizing work that is inherently governmental in nature, including postal services, school services, and traditional public schools.

A major reason for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to bargain collectively for better wages and benefits have been under attack at all levels. …Democrats believe so-called “right to work” laws are wrong for workers and wrong for America. We will continue to vigorously oppose Vergara v California and the other lawsuits led by Campbell Brown’s The 74, which would strike down laws protecting the due process rights of teachers.

We believe that personnel is policy. We will nominate and appoint regulators and officials who are not beholden to venture philanthropists who would silence the teaching profession and curtail its ability to contribute our professional judgments in debates over education policy.

Large corporations have concentrated their control over markets to a greater degree than Americans have seen in decades—further evidence that the deck is stacked for those at the top. Democrats will take steps to stop corporate concentration in any industry and in public education where it’s unfairly limiting competition by forcing traditional public schools to compete with CMOs, that don’t serve their share of poor and special education students, and English Language Learners, using the unreliable test results as the metric for keeping score.

Public education must engage students to be critical thinkers and civic participants while addressing the wellbeing of the whole child. Democrats believe that all students should be taught to high academic standards. Under no circumstances will we agree to the segregating of poor children of color into second class CMOs that impose soul-killing behaviorism and worksheet-driven instruction in order to jack up test scores and/or to defeat and privatize traditional public schools.

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