Seyward Darby at TNR takes note of a recent report “Stimulating Excellence: Unleashing the Power of Innovation in Education” that was done as a joint project by CAP and the American Enterprise Institute. The term “odd couple” comes up.
It is worth saying that though CAP and AEI are typically on different sides of issues, it’s not really all that odd to see CAP and AEI having some similar views on K-12 education. It’s simply not an issue where the main disagreements track the partisan divide all that closely. The controversial No Child Left Behind law was very much a joint project of Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and George Miller (D-CA) and the Bush administration. And at the same time, the opposition — from supporters of local control of schools, from teacher’s unions, from many rural states with few non-white schoolchildren, etc. — is very much a bipartisan phenomenon. That structure has basically been replicated in the think tank world with both CAP and AEI generally supportive of the that basic trajectory of policymaking while the Economic Policy Institute and the Cato Institute have been generally hostile. This is, in other words, the latest manifestation of a longstanding alignment of groups.
Meanwhile, I can’t mention education innovation without plugging “Changing the Game: The Federal Role in Supporting 21st Century Educational Innovation” by Sara Mead & Andy Rotherham.