Saturday, September 10, 2005

Michael: Superintendant of Public Instruction

Former GOP State Senator Slade Mead has decided to run for SPI on the Democratic Party ticket. He is opposed in the Primary by Jason Williams, a former elementary school teacher and Teach For America leader.

Now, I am every bit as delighted as the next blatant partisan when a member of the other party is so abused by his party leadership for doing what he thinks is the right thing (in Mead's case voting for a budget that didn't gut public education for our children) that he feels a need to switch parties. But despite welcoming Mead to the party as a supporter of our goals, I'm not yet convinced that he isn't just waiting for the right-wing insanity to pass away in his own party.

Is Slade Mead really suitable to be a leader and an state office-holder in the Democratic party just because he's had a falling out with the nuttiest Arizona Republicans? In fact, isn't Slade Mead, despite the party switch, really a moderate Republican? Democrats can work with and negotiate with moderate Republicans; Democrats don't help elect them.

I guess what I'm saying is that I suspect the Mead has just switched from being a RINO to being a DINO. Isn't he really an Independent? And shouldn't he run as such? I mean, there must be reasons he was a Republican other than his budgetary priorities.

Do we really want Mead, despite his obvious commitment to public education, to represent our party as its highest public educational official? Surely we can find someone to contest that office, who, like General Clark, is a Democrat for more reasons than Rove not taking his calls? I think it's great that Slade Mead has decided to become a Democrat, but I think I want more assurance that he's really committed to staying one before I give him my vote.

Now that I mention it, we do have an indubitable Democrat in the race: Jason Williams. As a career educator and administrator of Teach For America in Phoenix, Mr. Williams is eminently well-qualified for the post, and he's really a Democrat (not just serving time in the 'I'm no longer a Republican' penalty box).

I'll be casting my primary vote for Jason Williams for SPI. I hope you will consider his candidacy closely, too.

6 Comments:

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Joe Thomas said...

I thought you might be interested in some research on Teach for America completed here in our own state of Arizona.

The Effectiveness of "Teach for America" and Other Under-certified Teachers on Student Academic Achievement: A Case of Harmful Public Policy

If anyone knows of more recent research please provide a link.

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Thanks Joe, that is interesting information.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous kevin spidel said...

Michael,

Do you have a trackback URI? I tried to credit this blog where I reference it here: http://spidel.net/blog/?p=123#more-123

I wanted to trackback ping the comments from my blog post to this one. This should be a good debate.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Kev,

Unfortunately, blogger doesn't do trackback functionality. Being owned by Google, you'd think they would be most up-to-date...

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous kevin spidel said...

ahh.. well kudos. i gave you a shout out on my blog. i agre.. williams is a damn good candidate, but I have to support Slade. Curious is this will be, yet another division in the progressive dem movement. Its unfortunate, that both are damn good candiates!

 
At 6:32 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Personally I'm happy to support Slade. He and (former) Senator Linda Binder took a courageous stand in bucking the wingnut leadership of thier party in 2003 and opposed cuts to public education. That cost him his seat, but it won my vote.

 

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