The presidential election behind us, what now?
Prez Barack Obama didn't promise anything or commit himself to anything except to hire 100 math and science teachers even touted his Race to the Top education reform policy as successful in his televised debates.
Hardly was he ever challenged while the nation's leading education unions too busy blindly working behind the scenes on the get-out-the-vote for Obama/Biden democrat team.
Rumors circulated U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan is stepping down, the name of former D.C Chancellor Michelle Rhee surfaced as a possible candidate.
The only thing that has changed is Obama won the election, while U.S. Senate still in Democratic control, U.S. House of Representatives still in GOP hands and U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn at the helm of the House education committee.
There is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) seven years overdue and the issue of the waivers from key mandates in the No Child Left Behind that irked GOP leaders on the House education committee.
Differences in teacher evaluation less federal government intrusion, while more focus on state and district role. Surprisingly, what both Democrats and Republicans appear to be bipartisan on is passing charter school legislation, a pet project of Prez Obama that helped a Amendment One passed in Georgia election night.
One of the few surprises in Georgia ballot tallies on Tuesday was the startling support given by African-American voters to Amendment One, the measure to permit the state to create a commission that will directly license charter schools.The African-American community hoodwinked by an ad with Obama encouraging the proposed constitutional amendment though many opposed it based on its re segregation of public schools.
On a local scene, six district school board seats are up for election in May along with the board redesigning the district boundaries based on reapportionment. Many of the current members elected in the past because of the concern in the community for a net-work of charter schools proposal former school superintendent Marion Canedo hired to implement. It didn't happened as the new school board supported a moratorium on charters in the City of Buffalo.
Things have changed since at the State Department of Education a new state commissioner of education, Dr. John B. King a charter school proponent hired amid a scandal when the previous commissioner David Steiner stepped down after the controversy downstate in NYC surrounding the appointment of Cathy Black NYC Chancellor.
If nothing else, "keep up the faith, baby" the struggle to reform public education in urban schools is an on-going tug-of-war. Don't expect too much from Prez Obama second term but more havoc from Arne Duncan and once dust settles regarding the federal deficit with a renew bipartisan move to continue the charter movement.
But, "El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido," and advocates of public education "están unidos!"