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Vol 15 - Live at the Charter Growth Fund
Episode 157th March 2024 • WonkyFolk • CharterFolk
00:50:38 01:08:16

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Jed and Andy record WonkyFolk's first live session as they keynote at the Charter Growth Fund.

WonkyFolk's first live episode discusses the vital role of charter schools and civic engagement in advocating for education reform, particularly within African American and Hispanic communities. Jed and Andy delve into policy-making dynamics, the influence of political affiliations on educational initiatives, and how charter schools can serve as catalysts for community mobilization towards improved educational outcomes. Highlighting the importance of a cohesive advocacy strategy, the podcast also explores the implications of school choice mechanisms like vouchers and Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), advocating for significant policy adjustments to ensure access to high-quality education for all, fulfilling diverse community requirements.

00:00 Welcome to the Wonky Folk Podcast Live Episode!

00:53 Kicking Off with a Live Audience: The Excitement and Challenges

01:48 Charter Schools Advocacy and the Impact of COVID-19

02:57 Navigating the Political Landscape of Charter Schools

07:54 The Importance of Narrative and Controversy in Advocacy

17:07 Exploring School Choice and the Political Divide

26:39 The Future of School Choice in a Polarized Political Climate

32:48 The Struggle for School Choice and Accountability

33:57 The Need for Strong Advocacy and Communication in Education

35:47 Challenges and Successes in Charter School Advocacy

38:30 The Importance of a Unified Advocacy Strategy

43:57 Navigating Political and Policy Challenges in Education Reform

50:13 Building a Stronger Narrative and Policy Agenda for Charter Schools

56:28 Engaging Communities and Shaping the Future of Charter Schools

01:07:57 Closing Remarks and the Path Forward

Transcripts

Ebony:

So without further ado, let us transition to the wonky folk podcast.

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So if Jed and Andy can come up, they're

going to dive deeply into the latest

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and greatest issues about our changing

advocacy conditions for charter schools.

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And we're going to talk a little bit

about policy makers and red States and

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blue States and the different contexts.

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The WonkyFolk podcast is a discussion

that, um, Andy and Jed intend to

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provide an informative and engaging

forum where educational reformers,

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that's all of us, can grapple with

tough issues related to our shared

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quest to improve public education.

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So let's perk up our ears, sharpen

our wits, and immerse ourselves

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in a great conversation with

a live episode of WonkyFolk.

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Jed: Thank you, Ebony.

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Andy: Ebony, thank you.

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Are we recording, Raymond?

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Are we good?

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We've never done this live, so we

don't even know how to start it.

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Uh, Hey Jed.

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Jed: Hey Andy, this is fun.

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This is a lot of fun.

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Uh, special thanks to Charles from

the growth fund to try something new.

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Special thanks to all of you guys, uh,

for, um, being thinking of questions.

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Cause we'll probably go to questions,

maybe 40 minutes or something like that.

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Um, but, uh, just excited to be here.

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It's an amazing gathering and, um, we'll

try this experiment and see what happens.

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Andy: I don't know what else.

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Uh, the podcast, we, I mean, we

just sort of, it's a little hard.

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Jed, Jed tries to keep us on

track and I'm a little more like,

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Hey Jed, what do you think about

the Red Sox bullpen this season?

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And Jed's all like, let's talk about,

let's talk about charter schools.

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Um, uh, uh,

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Jed: Can I just share one thing?

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Cause you, you said something about Kevin.

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Um, because what, what Charter School

Growth Fund has done in so many

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different ways, uh, has been terrific.

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But one thing is that when I

left CCSA, um, uh, Kevin said,

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Hey, will you go on the road?

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We will support you.

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Visit as many states as you possibly

can and just write us a little report.

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What's the, what are the advocacy

conditions in each state?

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And what's our advocacy readiness

from an organizational standpoint?

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And so if COVID hadn't hit, I

would have gotten to 30 states.

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It was like 27, 28 when I cut it off.

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But I have to tell you, I learned

so much from that experience.

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And it was that that led me to say,

You know what, I think we need to

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have something like Charterfolk.

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Because I had this feeling of, uh, our own

world being a little bit on our haunches.

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And not even as committed or convinced

that we were on the right side of history.

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Like Governor Ducey has been

saying that we are, right?

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Uh, and so we did that.

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But Charter, but it really grew out of,

Kevin saying, go on the road, see what

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we need, and, and follow your intuition

and, and Charterfolk existing I think

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is really a function of the fact that

Kevin supported me at that moment.

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Andy: And your intuition

led you to a podcast.

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Jed: Yeah, well, there we went.

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Andy: Um, so, we're not going to

reference the session we just heard

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anything, it was off the record, but

we can acknowledge that Governor Ducey

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was here and that was very interesting.

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I would use him again as an opening

act, I was thinking, would you?

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I thought he did a nice job.

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Jed: Yeah.

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Andy: We'd use him again.

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For sure.

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Um, but being here in Arizona, uh,

being here in Arizona with him,

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like, I mean, this is kind of ground

zero for school choice and I mean,

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there is so much happening here.

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And one of the things, um, is this

issue of how do we detach, you

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know, people's personal wealth

and zip code from schooling.

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And I know you have a lot of, you

have a lot of thoughts about that.

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Jed: Yeah.

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So anybody that reads at

charter folk or knows me from,

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from other advocacy, uh, work.

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Knows that I just obsess on these

attendance boundaries and you know what I

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call educational red lines And I thought

that Kevin wasn't very articulated in

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describing that we're in this Multi

generational effort to evolve our movement

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our country away from dependency on that

kind of red lines But I have to say that

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I I entered the discussion day a little

bit irked Um, there is this new effort,

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some of you guys may have heard about

this, called the No Lines Coalition.

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And it is a group of 28 advocacy

organizations across the country

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that have come together and

made a commitment to erase these

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attendance boundaries over time.

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They've set a goal to eliminate

them all by the end of the decade.

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What irks me is when you look at the

28 Organizations that are listed there.

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There isn't one that's a charter specific

advocacy organization Not one and I

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cannot believe it and and it's it.

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Yeah, I just feel like it's points to

Kevin talking about we need to try new

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things We cannot keep advocating in the

same way that we have in the past And

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believe that we're going to be able to

drive a new narrative for our movement

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And when we are not willing or able to

proactively identify these things that

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are at the core of what our work is all

about, and get ourselves proactively

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positioned, we end up in a moment where

a new coalition is founded and charter

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schools are absolutely invisible.

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We're going to get this corrected.

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There are a number of charter

school specific organizations.

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We're lucky that we

have Sonia that's here.

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Uh, at the Diverse Schools Coalition,

I mean, we'll be a part of it, we'll

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get ourselves positioned there.

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We're gonna get 8, 10, other, 12 other

charter school advocacy organizations in

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that space quickly, but just as a starting

point, just as a starting point, that's

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where we find ourselves at this moment.

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Andy, I mean, you, you think

about these issues as well.

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Uh, and, and where charter schools

should and, and could be in this space.

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What are your reactions?

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Andy: Yeah, yeah.

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I mean, you always, you have like the,

the charter focus given what you do,

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and obviously I'm a charter supporter.

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I've been a trustee.

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I was a of, of achar of a charter school.

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I was, uh, a founding board

member of the National Alliance.

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Like I'm deeply steeped in charter

schools, but I also, a lot of my work

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is sort of the broader landscape.

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And the thing that strikes me

is when I got into this work.

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It was the people on the left who were

talking about, you've got this history of

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segregation, of racist school boundaries.

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We need to address that.

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We need to figure out ways to change

that, that are, that are politically

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tenable and sustainable and so forth.

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And the politics are

almost completely inverted.

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The left has been sort of

struck moot on this point and

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largely on, on school choice.

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And the right is obviously

filling the vacuum.

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And so some of these coalitions

that emerge around these issues,

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you look and you're like, these are

fairly right leaning coalitions.

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You're not seeing left leaning funders

who used to, uh, work on these issues.

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They've sort of pulled back.

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And I think it's like, It's,

it's, our politics have become

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just incredibly reactionary.

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And I think it's incumbent on

leaders in this movement to

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say, what do I actually believe?

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What is the North star?

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Not what is the politics?

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And I would commend as a fascinating

article by a guy named Michael

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Lind, who's a longtime analyst

about Paul Krugman and immigration.

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He basically goes and like digs

out a bunch of Paul Krugman columns

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from 20 years ago when the politics

of immigration were different

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and Krugman was saying one thing.

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And now Krugman is saying something

else, and, and Lynn's point is,

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look, the research and the evidence

hasn't actually changed that much.

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What's changed is the politics

of immigration have changed.

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And I feel like we have the same problem.

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Like, if anything, the evidence base on

charters has gotten stronger over the

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last two, the evidence base actually

has changed, and yet the politics have

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become incredibly reactionary, and

when we're Staring down an election

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that, you know, I think, you know,

most people would say is a jump ball.

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Who knows what the political atmosphere

in the country is going to be.

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Like that, it is a problem for charters

to be that sort of reactionary in, in, in

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their political orientation rather than

this is what we believe and we're going

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to drive this forward and we're going

to drive it forward with people who also

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believe this thing regardless of like

the letter after their name or what else

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we may agree or disagree with them on.

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Jed: Well, part of my thinking on this

is informed by sitting in that CCSA.

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We had 670, 000 kids in charter

schools, you have 1, 300 schools.

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Um, we're sitting there one, one block

over from the California Teachers

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Association with their 13 story structure

and just watching how the California

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Teachers Association drives narrative.

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They just, and they, boom, they

just hit over and over again.

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And our members just getting

so frustrated with us.

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You've got to do something

about the narrative as it

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relates to charter schools.

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But how do we want

narratives to be driven?

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No conflict, right?

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We're going to do it through positive

stories and every positive story really

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really matters I'm not saying to add

our smart paid media It also really

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matters, but it's not going to drive

narrative like the California Teachers

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Association drives narrative with

policy proposals that cause controversy

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in the pub, in the public sphere.

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And once the controversy is

there, people will pay attention.

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It's, it's like the poetics.

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You go back to the very beginning,

the very, very beginning.

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Aristotle teaching us, why does

the audience sit there to get

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all the way through a play?

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Because there's conflict.

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There's conflict.

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And what we in charter school

world, uh, want is to drive

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narrative with no conflict.

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And it's never going to work.

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It is never going to work.

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The reason that we don't do it right

now is we're in many situations

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very very risk averse We want every

single friend that we have right now.

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We want to keep what and anything

that's controversial We immediately

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assume that's going to result in some

subtraction of the support that we have.

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We expect our advocates to be

controversy free and we expect our

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advocates to to drive a narrative.

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Never gonna work.

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And when we're on the right side of

history, as we are on these attendance

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boundaries, and the other forms of

redlining in our country, we need to

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get out and position ourselves there.

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And when we do, we will find that,

yes, there are gonna be scary moments,

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because, oh my gosh, we're gonna propose

some things that are controversial.

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But the narrative will change in

fundamental ways that we've not been able

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to do, given that we haven't done this

kind of work for the last 15, 20 years.

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Andy: And I agree a lot with that.

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We actually had recently on the podcast.

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We had Nina Reese to come on and

kind of reflect on her leadership

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at the national Alliance.

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And I feel like one of the real

challenges she faced was how cross

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pressured she had people who wanted

her to be good cop, wanted her to be

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bad cop, wanted her to be plain old cop

chart, you know, charter quality cop.

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Um, and that was a hard thing

to navigate as a leader.

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I mean, I think we, we

have, I agree with you.

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We, we, and I've seen this, I've

seen this in the political space

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where people are like, let's be,

let's not create, let's not, you

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know, create divides and differences.

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And I think, and Randy Weingarten, I

think did a masterful job of sort of

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selling a really seductive narrative

of sort of collaboration and consensus,

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which to a point where people want to

collaborate, we should collaborate, but

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there are going to be disagreements.

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And I think, so I think

you're right about that.

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I do think though, on the

other side we have a problem.

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We have some people who are

really addicted to the theater.

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And they just want to poke fair

if the teachers union came to the

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table and said, Hey, you know what?

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We agree we should expand high

quality charters and so forth.

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They would find a reason not to.

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We have some folks who just,

they like the theater of it.

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And we need to, and if you just go looking

for conflict and we should be honest,

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we have some people in this business

who just want to look for conflict.

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You're an asshole, right?

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And we should like, we should not

shy away from calling that out.

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Either if that north star thing is

about getting things done and building

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bridges And I think we have some

people who they take what you say

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and are like, yeah, and that's why.

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And that's just there's a

broader set of politics there.

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Jed: I am absolutely not advocating for

that I just absolutely not and I also I

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don't think anybody should be shooting

from the hip As it relates to what would

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be a good specific policy to propose,

as it relates to the attendance boundary

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erase, we gotta be smart on this.

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Andy: Jed, we have a podcast.

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Our bread and butter is

shooting from the hip.

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Jed: Well, as long as we don't

miss, I mean, whatever, but it's,

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you know, when you, when you start

to do work like this, you start to

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realize the power that you have.

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We've got 4 million kids in charter

schools, you've got a sector this

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big, you've got a chance for a chorus.

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Um, but you get out of the gate on

a policy proposal that's stupid.

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No, we need to think a lot.

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And when California Teacher Association

like would go after, uh, the charter

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schools, I mean, the amount of work

that they would do on their polling,

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they pulled freaking everything right.

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They would pull on amendments.

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That they would consider bringing

to their own bills because they knew

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that the amendments would start to

change the narrative and so this is,

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I think we've gotten much, much better

at comms over the last 15 years.

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We're much better at pulling these kinds

of things, but one thing that we don't do

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still is that strategic polling of what

not only does the public stand with us on

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the issues, but what will people think of

the charter school world when we are seen

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to be advocating for something like this?

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Some people are going to see it

all as just totally self serving.

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Um, and they'll just disregard

anything that comes from us, but a

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lot of the people in the reasonable

middle, they're going to be open

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to what is the policy issue that

we're talking about and will listen.

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Andy: I think so.

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Um, Yes, and and with the boundaries

issue in particular, like it takes a

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certain kind of political patience.

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You can We could rush into that and

there's stuff you can do that's going

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to make you feel really righteous

and we're going to shame people

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in these communities and so forth.

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But you're not going to

get anywhere politically.

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You're talking about the largest asset

in most people's personal net worth.

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And so you have to approach

that with a account.

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Politics that is sensitive to that

and is long term and how do we bring

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about that change in a way that it

doesn't just engender opposition

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that we're not going to overcome, but

instead gets to a place where we can.

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And you can see that you and

I have talked about this.

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There's there's ideas around.

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How do you do zoning?

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How do you gently change the

allocation of seats, stuff like

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that, where and I've likened it

to like walking across the country

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with a compass that's a little off.

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You won't notice it if you're,

you know, like if where I live in

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Virginia, you won't notice it when

you're in West Virginia or maybe Ohio.

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So.

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But you'll notice it when you get to the

West Coast and you, you know, plan to walk

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to San Francisco and you find yourself

in Portland or, you know, or Los Angeles.

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And that's how we have

to think about this.

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I think we, you know, Kevin sometimes

says, Kevin, you're all, Kevin

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Hall talks about like, is this

a 20 year, 50 or a hundred year?

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I mean, I hope the boundaries issue

is not a hundred year, but I don't

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think it's a three year either.

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It's, and we have to be really

thoughtful about that and we have to

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have sort of sustained philanthropic

support for longterm change.

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Jed: Yeah, I mean, think, I

mean, I hear Governor Ducey talk,

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well, am I quoting here, what?

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Andy: I didn't hear him

talk about anything.

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Jed: I hear a lot, I hear a lot, I

hear a lot of people talk and really

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focus on, you know, opposition

coming from government unions.

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There's no doubt about that.

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That is what, that's a reality that we

deal with, but that's only a part of this.

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It's the, it's the government employee

unions in combination with parents and

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communities who are already happy with

what they have and they don't want

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these attendance boundaries to change.

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They don't want these school

district boundaries to change.

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They don't want to change the

way that schools are funded.

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Um, and so, we have to think

very carefully because you put

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those two forces together and

they are so immensely powerful.

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They are so immensely powerful that this

is why I say, no one shoot from the hip.

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No, we have to be, we have

to be careful about this.

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But charters help with this, right?

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But the thing is, what we have

to be able to do is grow the

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pie while we more fairly cut it.

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And there is no reason why Charterland,

I mean, Great Hearts, I mean, it's

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so awesome to have Great Hearts here.

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You know, because we've got this

school, you guys do great across so

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many different communities, right?

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But in some places, we don't have any

strong charter school organizations

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working in more suburban areas.

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In more middle class areas.

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It's terrible for us.

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It's just a total train wreck for us.

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And if we were able to say, the

charter school world is going to

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grow the supply of excellent schools.

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And by the way, that school that

you think of, in your middle class,

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little affluent area, it may not

be as good as you think it is.

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Let's put them on the run.

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And we show that in every

community, the supply is larger.

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The pie is larger.

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So then when we come back and say we

want to more equitably cut that pie,

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we're gonna have them be with us.

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But these, this is, this is

brain surgery type stuff.

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And, you know, we need to get smart

about it as we, as we take it on.

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Andy: And it's also

just context dependent.

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I mean, we're in a state here, if

I'm not wrong, I think about one

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in five kids are in, in charters.

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Yeah.

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And, and there's incredible

penetration, which, first of all,

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should be a message to Democrats.

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Like, this is a popular thing, right?

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And, and, and, and this is not

something over time you want

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to be on the wrong side of.

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We can talk about some of the

political demographics with that.

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But then you also have states, like the

state where I live in Virginia, like we

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are, you know, very much in the infancy

of having a real meaningful school choice,

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despite a lot of people trying to lean in,

and the politics, the politics are tough.

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But I do think the charter

piece with that supply side, it

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doesn't come into zero sum game.

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And I think that's why you've seen

like, a place like Arizona, like

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school choice being so popular,

because of that broader context.

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I don't mean to imply it's been easy

here, but I think that that broader

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context has certainly, certainly

helped facilitate the politics.

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Jed: So given that we're in an audience

where we've got a lot of charter folk

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around, um, I wanted to ask you, we,

we haven't, so I had a chance to write

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something for Education Next that

came out in late November, or maybe

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it was the first days of December.

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Which is really around the charter

school movement and it became an

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article entitled to keep on keeping on.

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Andy: It was an opus.

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Jed: It was an opus, whatever, yes.

347

:

I was insufferably long as usual.

348

:

Um, but, you and I haven't

really talked about it.

349

:

And so, um, I'd love to just get

your, look, it's a momentum story.

350

:

It's a momentum story, and having

the chance to work in as many states

351

:

that I do, I authentically, you know,

believe that the momentum story is

352

:

an accurate one to talk about, but

when you read it, I mean, did you see

353

:

things that were overstated or were

missing as big parts of the story?

354

:

Andy: Well, you're, I mean, you're

optimistic and we need that.

355

:

I don't think you're

like naively optimistic.

356

:

I think you bring analysis and so

forth, but you are, you are, you

357

:

are, you are, you are very optimistic

and you, and you see the upside.

358

:

And I think there is a lot of upside.

359

:

And I think.

360

:

Like how charters came through in some

ways the pandemic is a lot of upside.

361

:

My big concern is the politics though.

362

:

My, the thing that sort of keeps me up

at night is uh, when the music stops

363

:

charters can be the ones without a seat.

364

:

And what I mean by that is you

have a couple of trends going on

365

:

there worth paying attention to.

366

:

Republicans are now able to

push ESAs in a number of places.

367

:

Those are proving to be wildly popular,

and one way you know they're popular is

368

:

the governor, the current governor here,

is trying to undo it, but not through any

369

:

kind of frontal assault, he's trying to

sort of regulate them to death because

370

:

they're, they're so popular that the

teachers unions, which are usually pretty

371

:

good at getting ballot referendums set

up, can't even get a ballot referendum

372

:

set up against it because people, people,

I mean, and, and people don't like ESAs

373

:

or have concerns about them, whatever.

374

:

So, Like, that's fine, you can talk

about all that, but like, what you can't

375

:

deny is just how wildly popular they are

every state where they're being tried.

376

:

Um, people want them.

377

:

So you've got a lot of energy over there.

378

:

The democratic side is still split as

it always has been between the producer

379

:

interests, which are the teachers

unions, the education establishment, the

380

:

consumer interests, which is the parents.

381

:

That is a striking thing because

the party, you know, talks a lot

382

:

about equity and talks a lot about.

383

:

How it wants to be responsive to, uh,

Blacks and Hispanics in particular.

384

:

And yet, you look at the polling,

and sort of Black Americans,

385

:

Hispanic Americans overwhelmingly

support school choice and charters.

386

:

And, you know, the Biden

administration's basically been

387

:

struck, you know, moot on that issue.

388

:

Um, and so, you do then have what

you're seeing, because of cultural

389

:

issues and a bunch of stuff.

390

:

A trend that people have to get

their heads around because it's

391

:

counterintuitive, but non white voters

are leaving the Democratic Party.

392

:

We saw that.

393

:

The one group that Trump, uh,

didn't make gains among between

394

:

2016 and 2020 was white men.

395

:

Um, every other group he made inroads,

which again is counterintuitive.

396

:

But, and I worry, and I don't have

any crosstabs to back this up, but

397

:

my supposition would be voters who

are leaving the Democratic Party on

398

:

a number of these issues are probably

more likely to be supporters of

399

:

charter schools and school choice,

just given the basket of issues that

400

:

is, that is, that is driving that.

401

:

And so my concern is the political

demographics, you get into a really

402

:

polarized time, which this year is

going to be polarized and awful.

403

:

Yeah.

404

:

Um, you get that going on, you get

these political trends, like charter

405

:

schools, there's some risk there.

406

:

Yeah.

407

:

That they could end up being the thing

that is sort of politically homeless.

408

:

That's, that's what I do worry about and

this movement needs to think about how

409

:

it wants to do its Uh, how it wants to

do its politics, uh, in relation to that.

410

:

Jed: Yeah, well, I think, anybody

that's been reading Charterfolk for

411

:

a while, I mean, I've been beating

on, on this, the great disconnect.

412

:

There's, I have this, this,

this graphic with a red ball

413

:

and a blue ball overlapping,

um, and how they're basically,

414

:

completely, literally disconnecting.

415

:

And so it becomes almost impossible to

talk about the Charter School experience.

416

:

nationally because it's

so, um, bifurcated.

417

:

But then also, the shorthand

that we use within red and blue

418

:

context is often completely wrong.

419

:

It's like, the lead for the,

for the part of the, for the

420

:

Education Next article was Texas.

421

:

We got Starley here with us.

422

:

We got this incredible sense of momentum.

423

:

It's great that the governor knows

enough about Texas and, and, and

424

:

also your introduction, you know.

425

:

Talking about the great momentum we have

in Texas right now, but the part of the

426

:

story I really wanted to emphasize in the

article was that when the state board,

427

:

um, was presumed to be with us and when

the legislature was presumed to be with us

428

:

because Texas is such a Republican state.

429

:

You try to pass a law that gets rid of a

facility problem for charter schools, or

430

:

you try to get charter schools approved

by the state board, they weren't there.

431

:

They absolutely weren't there.

432

:

There were 25 Republicans that we

absolutely had previously identified

433

:

on legislative scorecard as being

strongly supportive of charter schools.

434

:

We actually got the bill in front of

them and 25 of them just not there.

435

:

So, what happens?

436

:

Darley accelerates the development

of the C4 there and wins a

437

:

heck of a lot of elections.

438

:

And suddenly, you know, this red state

can actually become strongly supported.

439

:

So I think there's just

variation in the red condition.

440

:

And when we summarize around blue

conditions, I thought, I thought

441

:

Ducey did a good job talking about

polis and others, because there are

442

:

a lot of blue places where things

are actually looking pretty positive.

443

:

Andy: How do you, um, uh, so you talk

about Texas and the, and, and there has

444

:

been a lot, there has been momentum there.

445

:

And there's been some fights and

Starley, her name, I was telling

446

:

her earlier, her name comes up like

again and again with people like,

447

:

are you seeing what's going on?

448

:

It's really commendable.

449

:

Um, but in LA, you know, the

school board just, just this week,

450

:

you know, they're clamping down.

451

:

So how do you, and California has

traditionally been a success story,

452

:

you know, incredible expansion.

453

:

Charters were really popular and now

politicians in Los Angeles where you

454

:

have pretty substantial penetration with

charters and again, pretty popular parents

455

:

there, they're starting to clamp down.

456

:

So how do you, how do

you think about that?

457

:

Jed: Give us a month.

458

:

We got a school board election coming on.

459

:

Andy: And you think this will

be consequential in that?

460

:

Jed: Uh, I think it shall be dispositive.

461

:

I mean, they say it's 4 3 against

charter schools right now.

462

:

Whatever.

463

:

Uh, there are people that are closer

to these elections than I am right

464

:

now, but I think we have a pretty

good chance of, uh, being able to

465

:

basically unwind these whole decisions

as soon as the new board is seated.

466

:

I see this as more a

moment of desperation.

467

:

They knew.

468

:

They've got a board right now.

469

:

Their board chair comes straight

from the union, Jackie Goldberg,

470

:

and she's gonna be gone.

471

:

And Um, and I think, I think UTLA is

looking and seeing what happened in Denver

472

:

and saw what happens in Philadelphia and

saw what happens in New York City and

473

:

saw what's happening in a number of other

places and saying we better lock these

474

:

winds in now because we're not going to

be able to do this a few months from now.

475

:

So, I actually see, uh, this

big story out of Los Angeles as

476

:

more a gesture of desperation.

477

:

Uh, and there's nothing the charter

schools should do except stay aggressive,

478

:

keep moving, and realize That Los

Angeles Unified has nowhere to turn.

479

:

Charters are the only reason for

a real fundamental hope in this.

480

:

Andy: Well, if you're right,

that would be fantastic.

481

:

Because, like, traditionally, like,

these school boards, they get one,

482

:

and then they kind of get eroded away.

483

:

Denver's a really good example of that.

484

:

And, because, you know Folks who don't

want reform, don't want charge, they're

485

:

there every day and reformers kind of come

in and get some wins and kind of move on.

486

:

So that's a bold prediction

we'll have to revisit.

487

:

That would be, that would be great

news, um, and it would be consequential.

488

:

Jed: Yeah, but I mean, look at Denver.

489

:

I mean, Denver, I, I mean, we

had a 7 0 board in support of

490

:

charter schools for a while.

491

:

Denver's my hometown too, so I think

But, and I remember some Denver people

492

:

saying, you know, the worst thing

to have is a 7 0 board because you

493

:

don't, uh, aren't aggressive enough.

494

:

My view is, we didn't know what to do.

495

:

It's like when we won LA Unified

Elections, Nick Moylvone and these

496

:

heroes that won in Los Angeles.

497

:

Woo hoo!

498

:

We had nothing to give them.

499

:

We had no agenda.

500

:

We had no North Star for Los Angeles.

501

:

We didn't have red lines and these kinds

of things that we could start to frame

502

:

a, a, an agenda around in Los Angeles.

503

:

And because of that, basically our

people go silent at the district level.

504

:

The unions just keep pounding

on charters, pounding on

505

:

charters, pounding on charters.

506

:

The only thing that's in the public

sphere is anti charter stuff.

507

:

Surprise, surprise.

508

:

The next election comes around,

we end up losing the board.

509

:

So, you know, these are things where

we see the patterns that are happening.

510

:

We just got to get better at our

advocacy, um, in between elections.

511

:

Drive better narratives.

512

:

And I think we will be able to

keep, with continued variation and

513

:

challenge, more and more support,

even in blue, in blue cities.

514

:

Andy: Let's get some questions.

515

:

Um, you guys have been

here for a little bit.

516

:

We've, again, we've never done

it with a live audience, so we're

517

:

excited people email us questions

with varying degrees of snark, um,

518

:

and so I would urge you, I would urge

you to ask questions with varying,

519

:

uh, with varying degrees of snark.

520

:

We can talk about the Biden and Trump

stuff, we've been kicking that around, uh,

521

:

privately, I'm sure that'll come up, so,

um, the one thing we need, uh, questions

522

:

to be on the mic or they won't be, uh,

they won't make it into the recording.

523

:

So there's mic runners,

uh, around on both sides.

524

:

So put your, who's brave?

525

:

And we love hostile questions.

526

:

Jed: So, so while people are

cogitating, let me just break.

527

:

Let's just, I want to

528

:

Andy: Aristotle cogitating,

like what is going on here?

529

:

So this live audience

is really bringing it.

530

:

Jed: I mean, one thing I'd like to just

get in front of this audience though,

531

:

is just to begin to think about what you

were talking about earlier about just

532

:

the fracture in, in, in red and blue.

533

:

And, and I'm just wondering.

534

:

Let's, let's go to federal.

535

:

Let's, let's go to IDEA money.

536

:

Let's, let's go to Title I money.

537

:

Let's go to our charter school program.

538

:

Okay.

539

:

The Dems and the Republicans have been

able to agree enough in Washington

540

:

to send those funds to states.

541

:

Um, but now we're going to have a

situation where a lot of these Republicans

542

:

have started new ESA and voucher programs.

543

:

They actually don't have enough

money to afford them all.

544

:

And Title I money is not going to

be able to flow to those schools.

545

:

How long do you think we're going to

be able to maintain a consensus in

546

:

Washington from the Reds and the Blues

to keep allowing the money to go, to

547

:

go out to states if states don't have

enough authority to direct it to what

548

:

their priorities are within education?

549

:

I mean, are, am I just wrong in seeing,

are you seeing something similar?

550

:

Andy: No, no, no.

551

:

I know the risks you're talking about.

552

:

I mean.

553

:

So I think you have to like

step back a little bit.

554

:

Um, one of the things that

is noteworthy to me, right.

555

:

That's happening right now is MSNBC,

you know, Trump says something crazy

556

:

every day and then they put it on.

557

:

Everybody's like Trump's saying

lots of crazy things, which he does.

558

:

He says crazy stuff every day.

559

:

I would stipulate.

560

:

But what that's obscuring is behind the

scenes, his campaign is disciplined,

561

:

they're doing a bunch of stuff, you know,

:

562

:

was kind of the bar scene from Star Wars,

it is not this time, they're serious,

563

:

they're locking stuff down, and so I

think they are going to come in if they

564

:

win, and I like Biden's chances actually,

so we can talk about that, but if they

565

:

win, They're going to come in with a with

an agenda on a number of these things

566

:

that will probably be more disciplined

than it was in his first administration.

567

:

And I think that will mean we already

saw they tried to push charter school

568

:

money out and you will probably see.

569

:

Some, uh, some trends like this, my

own personal, and like, this is a

570

:

prediction of what it's, where I think

the Republicans are going to lose the

571

:

house because of how they've managed

it or mismanaged it, but they're

572

:

probably going to get the Senate

because it is a really tough lineup.

573

:

It's just hard to see

democratic coattails.

574

:

So you're going to, you'll see,

you'll see an inversion there.

575

:

Um, and then you, you know, and then

it'll depend on, and so Trump could

576

:

potentially with it, again, if they

get a disciplined policy apparatus,

577

:

actually get something through.

578

:

Now, he came barreling into town

in:

579

:

They didn't amount to much,

but this is like a mutual fund.

580

:

Past performance does not necessarily,

you know, predict future performance, and

581

:

you're seeing some signs that they are,

that they are actually serious about this.

582

:

They're developing a policy agenda.

583

:

So I do think it is something, uh,

Uh, I do think it is something to,

584

:

uh, in deciding to keep an eye on, do

you have, when I say I like Biden's

585

:

chances, I hardly think it's a slam dunk.

586

:

I think it's gonna be

a very close election.

587

:

Jed: Do you have any advice for a

charter world in that We have been

588

:

this thing where Al Al Sharpton

and, and, uh, and New Gingrich could

589

:

go on a speaking tour together.

590

:

It's this weird place, you know, where

Republicans and now things are just

591

:

splintering so bad and so the straddle.

592

:

Andy: You're making me feel old.

593

:

I took my girls to one of those things.

594

:

It was really fun, but they were

with, it was Gingrich, Arnie Duncan,

595

:

who probably wants to forget that

he was there, and, and Al Sharpton,

596

:

and I'm sure, I'm sure Arnie would

like to memory hole that whole thing.

597

:

Um, and I remember my girls, they

just did not know what to make of

598

:

either Gingrich or Sharpt, and they

had never seen anything like this.

599

:

Jed: Um, but do you think

there is center ground for us,

600

:

center ground or Is it give up?

601

:

We're gonna have to

like ultimately picture.

602

:

Andy: No, I think there, no, no, no.

603

:

I think there is centrist ground.

604

:

I think we need leaders to stuff.

605

:

As I said earlier, our politics

have become reactionary.

606

:

It is, I mean, all of a sudden

I've actually got a piece I've

607

:

written about the seven, but

it's, it's education politics.

608

:

It's like a high school cafeteria.

609

:

I mean, seriously, it's like every, you

know, think back to your high school and

610

:

think about the dumb stuff people would do

to sit at the cool kids table or, or now

611

:

my daughter's school, the cool kids booth.

612

:

And you think about the dumb

stuff people would do or the, or

613

:

the ridiculous stuff or the bad

stuff, like It's the same thing.

614

:

People want to be at the cool kids table.

615

:

And that's why when Obama was throwing

education and accountability over

616

:

the side, very few people, and you

can remember who they were, people

617

:

like Jed Alderman and Anne Hyslop

were willing to stand up and who

618

:

were Democrats, were willing to

stand up and say, this is a mistake.

619

:

Most people were like,

oh no, this is great.

620

:

And you were like, no, this isn't.

621

:

Everybody knew this wasn't great.

622

:

Everybody knew what this policy was going

to lead to and has predictably led to.

623

:

Like, that was the high

school cafeteria thing.

624

:

Everybody wants to be with the cool kids.

625

:

And, and, and, it's incumbent on leaders

in the sector to say what is my North

626

:

Star, and what am I willing to do, and

what am I willing to risk for that North

627

:

Star, because if you just want to make

sure you're with your friends, you're

628

:

not with people you don't like, you

might not have people, you might have

629

:

people saying bad things about you, or

not inviting you to stuff you want to go

630

:

to, we're never going to get anywhere.

631

:

And I think that's, I do think there's a

center, it's just been largely abandoned,

632

:

and we need leaders to plant a flag

there and say, hey, come, come back.

633

:

Um, And, and the thing that's

kind of interesting on this is,

634

:

this is what education used to be

like when a lot of us got into it.

635

:

You worked with these people you

didn't agree with on anything else,

636

:

but you agreed with them like on this.

637

:

And you know, the issue that is

like that right now, climate.

638

:

You see that on the climate side,

you get these really interesting

639

:

kind of cross coalitions and not

surprisingly, philanthropic dollars

640

:

are rushing over there as they are

coming out of our, of our sector.

641

:

I think there's something to that.

642

:

So that's, that's my, we need, we need

people to, um, in this business, you

643

:

know, I'm stealing this from a friend

of mine actually lives here in Arizona.

644

:

She's always says in life, you need

like a funny bone and a backbone.

645

:

And I think to like be successful,

this work, you need both those things.

646

:

Audience: Hi, um, how do you

think school choice will advance

647

:

in Virginia in the coming years?

648

:

Andy: Did you put her up to that?

649

:

Jed's always on us that we're

not getting it done in Virginia.

650

:

Um, look, Virginia shows

this is not just blue red.

651

:

You have a lot of suburban Republicans

in Virginia who are happy to see

652

:

school choice not go very far.

653

:

The political power is these large

Suburban school districts who tell a

654

:

story about how world class they are,

they don't want to be disrupted by this,

655

:

and then the urbans and the rurals are

sort of split politically, but they

656

:

actually have a fair amount in common.

657

:

Um, uh, and, and so it

is, it is really tough.

658

:

And so people are like,

you know, you, you had.

659

:

Folks in our sector, you know, basically,

like, oh, if Glenn Youngkin was serious

660

:

about school choice, he'd get it done,

you know, I think, uh, I think it was

661

:

Jeannie Allen said that in the New

York Times, if, if I'm wrong, it wasn't

662

:

her, apologies, Jeannie, but I think,

I think she, I think she said that,

663

:

and it's not an issue of like, if he

just wished a little harder or wanted

664

:

it a little more, Like, he can't wish

votes into existence, or want, and this

665

:

stuff is getting killed in committees.

666

:

You know, he tried on ESAs, he

didn't get anywhere on that.

667

:

He tried on charter schools, which could

have been a compromise, because a lot

668

:

of people were, you know, that were

upset about it, didn't want the ESAs.

669

:

But the charters didn't get anywhere.

670

:

So we've got these university lab

schools, which are great, but to give

671

:

you an idea of how crazy it is, like,

we had to fight, there was a huge fight.

672

:

Um, the Democrats, and by the way, I

mean, I am one, I'm sort of lapsed on

673

:

education, but, um Uh, they kept trying

to get, take the money away from our

674

:

ability to even let HBCUs in Virginia

open these schools, so they didn't

675

:

want to allow private, you know, they

kept trying to like bring this in, uh,

676

:

you know, reel it in and curtail it.

677

:

And so we're, it's going, we're

authorizing some of these schools.

678

:

The first ones are, are coming online,

but it is, it is really slow going.

679

:

I think what we need there,

and I'm not just saying this

680

:

to suck up, we need a Starley.

681

:

We need someone who is just

like, I am going to come in.

682

:

I am an organized people and I don't

care if it gets people upset and all

683

:

this somebody who doesn't really they

don't care like what the political class

684

:

necessarily like thinks of them they want

to be respected more than they want to

685

:

be liked we need an education advocacy

group because right now we got all the

686

:

you know all the adult interest they

have all their groups there's not an

687

:

education advocacy group out there um uh

for kids and then as Jed said we need more

688

:

communication people need to understand

and We still can't have an honest debate

689

:

in the state about school performance.

690

:

People don't understand what's going on.

691

:

You, we still, we have the largest

learning loss in the country, um, on

692

:

NAEP, and that is still, when you bring

that up, that's still like a big fight.

693

:

And the media writes, well, you know,

some people say Virginia had a lot

694

:

of learning loss during the pandemic.

695

:

Other people say it doesn't, it's

just infuriating, like, you know.

696

:

Some people say the moon's

made of green cheese.

697

:

Some people may say it's made

of rock, who the hell knows?

698

:

Like, it's just, it's just ridiculous.

699

:

Uh, it's just ridiculous journalism.

700

:

And so it just leaves people confused.

701

:

And, and so it's going to take

all those things and that's more

702

:

than any one administration,

um, is going to be able to do.

703

:

I mean, we have, we have a dogfight

just to get accountability Virginia

704

:

doesn't have an accountability

system just to get accountability.

705

:

And so, um, Uh, I mean, I'm not

saying there haven't been missteps and

706

:

strategies could have been different.

707

:

I don't want to be heard to say

that, but it is really hard.

708

:

I don't think people appreciate,

like, just how small C

709

:

conservative the state is.

710

:

And Jed and I have talked about

this in terms of strategy.

711

:

Are these states that don't really

have good charter laws and have weak

712

:

ones, is there just a reason for that?

713

:

And we should instead focus on the

places where there's a lot more

714

:

potential for growth or should we

focus on changing those places?

715

:

That like Virginia, and I think

that's like, that's actually to

716

:

me a very strategic question for

this sector to debate because I

717

:

don't think the answer is obvious.

718

:

Jed: I think a part of the article

that I, that I wanted to get built

719

:

in here was that the policy wins.

720

:

In some cases we were lucky

things change because of COVID.

721

:

Hey, there was a, there was a ton

of money that flowed into public

722

:

education so we could get some charter

school wins within that bigger pie.

723

:

But there also was some really

effective advocacy that happened in

724

:

different places, and, and it just

requires the charter school world to

725

:

be taken on the, when Virginia doesn't

have the charter base, it's so hard.

726

:

But like in Missouri, there was just

a huge win that happened, thousands

727

:

of dollars of extra per, per pupil

coming to the Missouri charter schools.

728

:

Um, and the work that had to be done

there, because the Republicans at a state

729

:

level, they still, they love charters.

730

:

But they weren't willing to, like, make

state money, uh, bring the, you know,

731

:

bring the charter schools to equity.

732

:

Well, some really smart, behind the

scenes work, some good C4 work there,

733

:

with leadership in the building, and

suddenly the Republicans are like, okay,

734

:

we're willing to put in the money at a

state level to get this funding equity.

735

:

Um, but they still don't have all the

votes that they need because Missouri

736

:

has, within their Senate, a de facto veto.

737

:

for a very small number of legislators.

738

:

So a very small number

of legislators in St.

739

:

Louis, very Democrat aligned,

could stop the whole thing.

740

:

But that's when the charter school

parents, working in collaboration,

741

:

going with, engaging with these, that

held the veto, got them to relent.

742

:

Okay, you're right.

743

:

These schools that serve primarily

black and brown kids, they should not

744

:

be suffering from this level of funding

inequity, and they let it go through.

745

:

So each of these things we can

talk about the broader dynamics

746

:

and all those kinds of things But

there's also under the surface.

747

:

There's hard advocacy work that's

going on right now and that needs

748

:

to be a part of the future for

for Additional wins going forward.

749

:

Andy: I want to get,

there's another question.

750

:

One other thing in Virginia,

it's really important to note.

751

:

Like, one of the Democrats was really,

I thought a fantastic legislature,

752

:

very pro charter, got primaried out.

753

:

And that's not, you know, a coincidence.

754

:

As, as, as both parties become more

polarized and politicians are more worried

755

:

about losing in primaries in general.

756

:

So, it, it, it makes it harder to

get anything done because you're

757

:

losing the, the negotiating partners

are all, are all going away.

758

:

Um, please ask hard questions.

759

:

The governor brought ice cream,

which is nice, but I like ice

760

:

cream, but Jed and I brought beer.

761

:

So feel free to ask, uh,

um, ask, ask hard questions.

762

:

Audience: It won't be too, uh,

it'll be somewhat softball.

763

:

Um, so Jed, we've talked about at a

micro level, what advocacy looks like.

764

:

We're here at a policy communications

and advocacy convening.

765

:

Who should be coming up with

the federal level agenda?

766

:

On what it is that we should be focused

on and driving towards and is it just

767

:

the, is it the individual schools,

is it the, you know, the national

768

:

organizations, is it, you know, locking

arms with parent organizations, like

769

:

who should be at the table to create the

natural agenda around charter schools?

770

:

Jed: Thank you for that question.

771

:

I think that, um, um, I, I, I

personally believe that we need

772

:

advocacy infrastructure that is

roughly patterned after what we

773

:

see from the teachers unions.

774

:

We need an NEA connected to our

CTA from a California perspective,

775

:

uh, connected to our UTLA.

776

:

Um, and we need each of these entities.

777

:

To build decision making structures

that authentically engage their members

778

:

and we can argue about how much the

california teacher association Genuinely

779

:

has that but joe nunez was a beloved

figure a beloved figure in california

780

:

California from the teacher union

perspective And what i've been able to

781

:

understand is the vote when they got

rid of him three summers ago was 55 45.

782

:

People were just heartbroken and pissed

within california teacher association

783

:

that that happened, but it hung

together It hung together because they

784

:

believed that the decisions had been

made in some kind of authentic way.

785

:

And so I think we need to redouble in

creating within these different levels

786

:

the kinds of structures that we can

then bring policy agendas to and begin

787

:

to agree to some of these things.

788

:

I think there's going to be

variation by states, but I also

789

:

think there are things that we can

even agree upon at a national level.

790

:

Let me say though, I'm a huge

advocate of the National Alliance, I

791

:

love, I was on the group that hired

Nina and all that kind of stuff.

792

:

I also think narrative is driven

by the local organizations.

793

:

I do not believe that the NEA

is driving the narrative for the

794

:

National, for teacher unions.

795

:

UTLA is.

796

:

Cta ctu is in chicago and what we'll

find is that when we start to build

797

:

representative Organizations at local

levels and they get on the offense

798

:

policy agendas We will see the

narrative being driven by, uh, charter

799

:

schools in ways we never have before.

800

:

And I'm just doing all my work as

much as I possibly can to try and

801

:

encourage us to evolve and evolve

into, you know, a structure like that.

802

:

I don't know.

803

:

Tell me what I'm totally wrong here.

804

:

Andy: We need to be more

like the teachers unions.

805

:

Jed: Yeah.

806

:

Andy: You're really selling it.

807

:

That's, uh, is there, is

there, is there a plan B?

808

:

Jed: People find that distasteful.

809

:

Andy: No, no, no.

810

:

I think you're right.

811

:

You're right on the politics.

812

:

The one thing I do find, you have a lot of

conversations in, in the ed reform world

813

:

and you're like, that conversation never

happened in the teacher's union boardroom.

814

:

Like they know how to do politics.

815

:

They're ruthless about it.

816

:

They don't, they don't worry about some

of the stuff that ties us in knots.

817

:

I, I, I'm, I actually, so I think your

vision actually makes a fair amount

818

:

of sense in terms of like advocacy,

bringing political power to bear on this

819

:

question, empowering local communities,

um, that all makes a lot of sense.

820

:

My only concern is we just have

to make sure the teachers unions,

821

:

like there's plenty of people

in the unions who are fantastic.

822

:

You get to know their good people.

823

:

They don't want to be presiding

over lousy schools and so forth, but

824

:

they are locked into this system.

825

:

They have equities that they

need to protect and so forth.

826

:

And so they are stuck then

defending stuff, which in some

827

:

cases I would say is indefensible.

828

:

And we need to make sure that this

movement always stays, this is, this

829

:

is not a just more schools movement.

830

:

It's a more high quality schools movement

and we don't want to be, it's very easy

831

:

to start becoming the people who you

set out to disrupt where you're like,

832

:

well, you know, our stuff isn't like

so bad and here the, you know, and, and

833

:

Howard Fuller is very eloquent on this.

834

:

I can't do it justice how he talks

about this in terms of like all

835

:

the stuff you already know about.

836

:

The kids and so you can't

start using that as an excuse.

837

:

So that's my only concern with that

sort of model you're laying out is to

838

:

make sure that quality thread, uh, and

accountability thread still runs through

839

:

it and we don't just become another

special interest in education because

840

:

like we got plenty of them that seems like

not a great thing to set your pick to.

841

:

Jed: Let me just feather in one

last piece too, um, because tomorrow

842

:

you guys are going to hear from

Starley and you're going to hear

843

:

from Harry Lee in New Jersey.

844

:

And you're going to hear

from Ariel in DC, right?

845

:

Um, these are three places where

the state based advocacy or

846

:

the district based advocacy has

gotten a hell of a lot stronger.

847

:

Colorado is another one.

848

:

We could probably talk

about two or three others.

849

:

But if you look at Jersey, Texas,

and DC, what do you see there?

850

:

High levels of alignment between

the CMOs and the state associations.

851

:

The CMOs are fully in behind Starlee,

and that's been an important part

852

:

of why she's gotten stronger.

853

:

And the great way for the chartered

CMOs to be able to participate is to

854

:

serve on these boards and to really,

in a reasonable way, raise expectations

855

:

such that the governance gets stronger.

856

:

So, there's a very important role for

this portfolio, I think, to play in

857

:

the creating of structures where the

governance reflects shared decision

858

:

making that gets smarter over time.

859

:

Andy: Where are the, I

thought I saw a mic over.

860

:

Audience: Um, so, I'm, I come from

Florida, and there's some interesting

861

:

things that are happening in Florida.

862

:

Jed: Yeah.

863

:

Audience: There's the

talk of, um, deregulation.

864

:

And so for a long time it's

been charter friendly, somewhat.

865

:

I think right now with deregulation,

um, the need to help educate some of our

866

:

reps, because there's a sense that in

order to establish this, these accounts,

867

:

right, that some of the money is going

to be pulled away from doing some

868

:

interesting things in the charter world.

869

:

So we have good things that are happening.

870

:

The authorizers now are moving away

from the district, which is great,

871

:

especially if You know, we're opening

charter schools in different districts

872

:

and it's just very different But I worry

a little bit about something that I heard

873

:

in the extreme form which was well You

could always look at converting your

874

:

charter school to a private school and

I was like, well, why would we do that?

875

:

so, um From your experience

What are the potential dangers?

876

:

for us to look at in our charter

world and, and, and charter schools.

877

:

When you're talking to folks who see

deregulation and sort of want to go

878

:

move to the, the, like squirrel, this

is a great thing, but Hey, we're doing

879

:

great things over here in charter.

880

:

How about continuing to fund us to the

same level as, um, and if, or better.

881

:

Andy: I'll probably get this over to you.

882

:

My mind.

883

:

Yeah, like in Florida, I used

to do a lot of work down there.

884

:

I haven't in a while.

885

:

It does seem like there's a lot going on.

886

:

I saw a video from a

Waffle House the other day.

887

:

It was very disturbing.

888

:

Um, uh, uh, so, I, I don't, Jed has

a lot of, um, a lot of views, so I

889

:

am going to hand this over to him.

890

:

The only thing, I just think charters

have to make sure they maintain their

891

:

brand, and there's a bunch of issues.

892

:

The Supreme Court seems to have

paved the way, and you're seeing

893

:

this in Oklahoma, for you can

have religious charter schools.

894

:

That's going to confuse the brand.

895

:

This effort, I've always wondered

what's going to happen when you

896

:

get to more unregulated choice.

897

:

Where do you start?

898

:

Where is the line between charters and

homeschoolers who want to work together

899

:

in co ops and so forth and realize you

can do that co op and get more resources?

900

:

For your kids under under a charter like

model, like, where does that interest?

901

:

So I think there are some hard questions.

902

:

Um, uh, and I, and I know

Jen has sharp feelings.

903

:

Like I said, I'm a hand over to him.

904

:

The only other thing I'd say on the

upside, and this is a Florida story.

905

:

Prepare to be surprised.

906

:

Florida has over the years.

907

:

Uh, surprised it's the way it's

accountability and choice system

908

:

worked was not what people expected.

909

:

The results, the special ed vouchers

that work the way that you would have

910

:

assumed that they that they would work.

911

:

That was one that I was, um, with

a colleague was was wrong on.

912

:

And so I think, uh, there are

concerns and Jed's going to voice

913

:

them, but also a lot of stuff.

914

:

Prepare to be surprised because

Ford has proven to be a really

915

:

interesting laboratory story.

916

:

Um, on some of this stuff and

it's broken in, in, in ways

917

:

that are very counterintuitive.

918

:

Jed: Yeah, so one thing

just to start on Florida.

919

:

Um, the recent conversion discussion

around converting traditional public

920

:

schools to charter status is another

kind of conversion that's happening.

921

:

And, I have, I have, at Charterfolk,

I've written incessantly about

922

:

all the things that I screwed up

at CCSA, a lot of them, terrible.

923

:

The second worst thing that I did,

the second worst thing that I did,

924

:

was to allow the charter school

movement to move away from conversions.

925

:

An emphasis on conversions.

926

:

Bill Clinton knew it, all the

Democrats knew it, in the early going.

927

:

You present chartering as, yes, we're

going to make a bunch of new schools

928

:

too, but chartering is something

that can make all schools better.

929

:

And we allowed conversions to

basically become turnarounds.

930

:

So now we associated charter with

punishment We had schools that were

931

:

in abject terrible situations the

asds that turned some of these schools

932

:

around thank goodness it happened but

the tax that we had to pay to present

933

:

charter schools as As a punishment.

934

:

Horrible.

935

:

Of course, if you say that all

we're going to do is new schools,

936

:

we're one big replacement strategy.

937

:

We also say that there's

no potential within the

938

:

traditional public school system.

939

:

We dismiss the people that

are working so hard here.

940

:

When we say, please come,

you're not the problem.

941

:

We're as much here for you

as we are for anybody else.

942

:

You want to be more, we want

to help release potential.

943

:

That Florida is the first place, is

the first place where we've seen new

944

:

life breathed into the conversion idea.

945

:

So I celebrate that.

946

:

From a, from a, from a Florida perspective

on, on what's going on around choice

947

:

and, and, you know, will we create

incentives for public schools or what.

948

:

I think we need to have a discussion

ourselves about what are the kinds

949

:

of schools that we believe, Move us

toward greatly more public education.

950

:

I think the right thing for us

to say is that unfortunately

951

:

our public school system has

turned out to be not that public.

952

:

It's, and what makes it un, uh,

not public is all the unfairnesses

953

:

that we've been talking about

and the lack of rate quality.

954

:

And, so what are the kinds of

evolutions that could happen that

955

:

would move us towards something

that is more greatly public?

956

:

And I think there are all sorts of things

that we could do within traditional

957

:

public schools to erase attendance

boundaries, to get rid of selective

958

:

admissions, to have better financials.

959

:

There are ways for us to design voucher

programs and ESAs that also are going to

960

:

give those that have not had opportunity

even more opportunity in the future.

961

:

But there are ways to design

those things also where they'll

962

:

actually end up with less.

963

:

And so I think we need to start having

more discussion ourselves about what we

964

:

believe the kind of choice systems are

that result in something greatly more

965

:

public than what we have right now.

966

:

And we've basically been keeping our

heads low for all sorts of good reasons.

967

:

But we can't stay in that

posture for too much longer.

968

:

We need to have those conversations, and

then at the right moment, start to share

969

:

what our view is about the future of

choice systems that align with our values.

970

:

Audience: So actually my question is

to push you on what you just said.

971

:

What is the choice system?

972

:

When we talk about public school choice,

are we diluting it when we throw in

973

:

ESAs, and we throw in vouchers, and

we throw in doing homeschool co ops?

974

:

When is the time to

have that conversation?

975

:

If not now, and how do we start it?

976

:

Andy: I think this movement should

be very clearly about what it's for

977

:

and less about what it's against.

978

:

People are going to agree or

disagree on a range of things.

979

:

I'm unusual among like a

lot of people I run with.

980

:

I happen to think she really

exciting part of the sector.

981

:

I think it's a ton of

work, but I love that.

982

:

I think I think when I see parents

coming together and doing that,

983

:

I think it's, it's fantastic.

984

:

It's empowering.

985

:

Um, uh, it doesn't trouble me.

986

:

Other people have reasons in

there that they're against.

987

:

It's not mine to say if those

reasons are right or wrong.

988

:

And to me, it's a little irrelevant for

charters per se, because we should be

989

:

talking about what makes a charter unique.

990

:

You know, high quality, public, school

of choice, independently authorized,

991

:

I mean, all those characteristics.

992

:

And so I think part of the problem

is we've allowed ourselves to get

993

:

buffeted in all these politics, rather

than just lay out what is our brand.

994

:

Um, and how do we want to enter the actual

marketplace and the political marketplace?

995

:

Uh, talking about that, I worry, like,

people are going to agree and disagree

996

:

on all this stuff because a lot of it's

very value laden, complicated empirically,

997

:

and reasonable people can disagree.

998

:

Um, you wouldn't know it from

the way we have the debate.

999

:

Reasonable people can actually

disagree about a lot of this stuff.

:

00:51:51,709 --> 00:51:53,829

Um, and so we should

not get tied up in that.

:

00:51:53,829 --> 00:51:56,439

We should be like, this is

what charter schools are about.

:

00:51:56,689 --> 00:51:59,129

The National Alliance for

Public Charter Schools should

:

00:51:59,139 --> 00:52:00,449

be very clear what it's about.

:

00:52:00,619 --> 00:52:03,859

And the rest of this stuff will

continue to go in a little bit because

:

00:52:04,179 --> 00:52:05,529

the ship has sort of sailed, right?

:

00:52:05,579 --> 00:52:08,309

Like, like again, ESAs are super popular.

:

00:52:08,309 --> 00:52:11,279

So like, even if you don't like

them, like, what good is it to say

:

00:52:11,279 --> 00:52:12,449

charter schools are against them?

:

00:52:12,449 --> 00:52:15,239

That's not politically, uh,

that's not politically smart.

:

00:52:15,534 --> 00:52:17,604

Thing to do because they're

they're wildly popular.

:

00:52:17,604 --> 00:52:21,634

We should just focus on our stuff,

which is uh, How do you grow and

:

00:52:21,634 --> 00:52:23,204

expand public charter schooling?

:

00:52:24,044 --> 00:52:27,234

Jed: I pretty much agree with you,

but I have some important nuances.

:

00:52:27,234 --> 00:52:31,194

First of all, I mean we're in a moment

where if you say the wrong thing about

:

00:52:31,504 --> 00:52:35,764

a voucher program in a particular

state the retribution that's coming

:

00:52:35,824 --> 00:52:40,134

against you and coming against us

would be so bad You can do nothing

:

00:52:40,134 --> 00:52:43,149

except shut up for a while for a while.

:

00:52:43,659 --> 00:52:47,789

Um, and like, heaven forbid you get

crosswise from Governor Abbott right

:

00:52:47,789 --> 00:52:49,219

now when this matters this much.

:

00:52:49,529 --> 00:52:54,689

You, I mean, Texas charter schools could,

in terms of retribution, if we did this

:

00:52:54,699 --> 00:52:57,699

stupidly, it'd be so counterproductive.

:

00:52:58,309 --> 00:53:02,423

Um, but I do think that us having

conversations about what are

:

00:53:02,423 --> 00:53:06,489

the foundational pieces, uh, for

future school choice, for me, one

:

00:53:06,489 --> 00:53:07,879

of those things is means testing.

:

00:53:08,499 --> 00:53:11,509

Um, and means testing means

different things to different people.

:

00:53:11,509 --> 00:53:12,789

I brought up means testing with.

:

00:53:13,119 --> 00:53:16,249

You know, the head of, uh, with Robert

Edlow just, you know, a couple of weeks

:

00:53:16,249 --> 00:53:20,249

ago, he presumed I was thinking, Oh,

means testing means, oh, you can't

:

00:53:20,259 --> 00:53:25,679

have any voucher whatsoever if you

are above some, uh, income level.

:

00:53:25,939 --> 00:53:28,659

Means, that's not, you can

still have a universal program.

:

00:53:28,899 --> 00:53:31,639

I'm just saying Tiger Woods kids

should get about 4, 000 bucks.

:

00:53:31,999 --> 00:53:35,379

And, and, and the highest

needs kids should get about 40.

:

00:53:36,109 --> 00:53:38,869

But that's, that's, how

mean is the means testing?

:

00:53:38,919 --> 00:53:40,759

Is where, you know, the

things start to come in.

:

00:53:41,179 --> 00:53:43,169

What happens to special education kids?

:

00:53:43,584 --> 00:53:45,804

I think this is, are,

these are important pieces.

:

00:53:46,684 --> 00:53:49,614

What happens really around

academic accountability?

:

00:53:49,674 --> 00:53:51,444

I am very, very skeptical.

:

00:53:52,034 --> 00:53:58,064

Um, that, that we're going to see

hundreds of billions of dollars put

:

00:53:58,064 --> 00:54:00,144

into vouchers and ESEA programs.

:

00:54:00,184 --> 00:54:03,464

And there is going to be some moment

where society ends up asking, are

:

00:54:03,464 --> 00:54:05,134

the kids learning anything or not?

:

00:54:05,494 --> 00:54:09,704

And so while it may be controversial

in the near term, this is one where

:

00:54:09,704 --> 00:54:13,824

I can also, I think we can just say,

Hey guys, we're on your longterm

:

00:54:13,824 --> 00:54:16,224

wellbeing, you know, side here.

:

00:54:16,474 --> 00:54:19,174

We don't think that's a position

that's going to long last for you.

:

00:54:19,474 --> 00:54:21,524

Um, what are ways for

us to think about that?

:

00:54:22,339 --> 00:54:26,279

These are conversations that I think

need to be happening as Naomi suggests,

:

00:54:26,449 --> 00:54:31,179

you know, within structures where we can

really have the kind of conversations and

:

00:54:31,189 --> 00:54:35,999

we can be intentional and be proactive

and choose our moments, you know, to begin

:

00:54:35,999 --> 00:54:38,179

to get our values out into the landscape.

:

00:54:38,414 --> 00:54:42,964

Not doing last minute things that could

end up having us just be roadkill on,

:

00:54:43,024 --> 00:54:44,634

on, on the political highway right now.

:

00:54:46,204 --> 00:54:48,284

Andy: Yeah, I don't think

we disagree much on that.

:

00:54:48,524 --> 00:54:48,944

Okay.

:

00:54:49,004 --> 00:54:51,524

I just think it's important to

have that affirmative vigi worry.

:

00:54:51,754 --> 00:54:55,054

We are getting way too much caught

up in all the political atmospherics.

:

00:54:55,304 --> 00:54:57,304

And who do we, again, the cafeteria.

:

00:54:57,534 --> 00:55:00,544

We don't want people to think that we

might be having lunch with those kids.

:

00:55:00,824 --> 00:55:03,154

And I just think that's the wrong

way to even think about this.

:

00:55:03,224 --> 00:55:06,474

It's, it's, what are, what are we about

in terms of public accountability,

:

00:55:06,504 --> 00:55:08,484

public transparency, all of those things?

:

00:55:08,804 --> 00:55:11,504

Like Charters have a great story

to tell and we should tell it.

:

00:55:11,714 --> 00:55:13,634

Jed: But it's not just

in this area though too.

:

00:55:13,664 --> 00:55:15,974

It's just people are talking

about Los Angeles, they're trying

:

00:55:15,974 --> 00:55:18,674

to kick the kids out, out of

the los, out of the LA schools.

:

00:55:19,084 --> 00:55:21,634

I mean, they are kicking kids,

charter school kids out of

:

00:55:21,639 --> 00:55:23,374

buildings in Newark right now.

:

00:55:24,214 --> 00:55:24,604

Right.

:

00:55:25,294 --> 00:55:28,024

And, and and, and we can

learn so much from Newark.

:

00:55:28,294 --> 00:55:28,654

You can learn.

:

00:55:28,659 --> 00:55:30,064

So do we have anybody from Newark here?

:

00:55:30,110 --> 00:55:31,105

I

:

00:55:31,105 --> 00:55:33,094

Andy: mean, I

:

00:55:33,094 --> 00:55:37,289

Jed: think this is a moment for us to

have a conversation about, you know, what

:

00:55:37,319 --> 00:55:38,889

are we really trying to work toward here?

:

00:55:39,109 --> 00:55:43,129

Because in Newark, it's incredible

the schools that we have there,

:

00:55:43,329 --> 00:55:45,019

incredible schools that we got there.

:

00:55:45,329 --> 00:55:48,039

But what does the school

district do in response?

:

00:55:48,709 --> 00:55:54,239

It basically is creating a bunch of

new selective admissions magnets and it

:

00:55:54,239 --> 00:55:59,519

is leaving a third of the kids in just

abjectly horrific schools that they're

:

00:55:59,539 --> 00:56:04,139

sucking money away from to subsidize

these new selective admissions magnets.

:

00:56:04,519 --> 00:56:08,389

So the New York school that got

kicked out this week, what is the

:

00:56:08,399 --> 00:56:11,189

school that's going to go into the

space that they are now vacating?

:

00:56:11,359 --> 00:56:13,029

One of these selective admissions magnets.

:

00:56:13,524 --> 00:56:16,494

So, you know, when we are going to

throw ourselves on the track because,

:

00:56:16,554 --> 00:56:20,134

tracks because we don't like something

that's about the design of a new choice

:

00:56:20,174 --> 00:56:23,534

program, I think it's forgetting that

there are all sorts of things that

:

00:56:23,534 --> 00:56:26,604

are happening within our traditional

system right now that are equally, if

:

00:56:26,604 --> 00:56:28,734

not even worse than what's happening.

:

00:56:28,974 --> 00:56:34,244

And so, when we throw our, our, our,

ourselves on one track, But not the other?

:

00:56:34,784 --> 00:56:35,714

Where's our credibility?

:

00:56:35,914 --> 00:56:39,894

We need something, a unifying vision

that will hold us together across

:

00:56:40,004 --> 00:56:43,104

a range of challenges that will be

coming to us in the decade ahead.

:

00:56:43,314 --> 00:56:47,564

Andy: And just this week, the Supreme

Court, uh, is basically upheld a decision

:

00:56:47,574 --> 00:56:52,224

on selective admission magnets that

you can do various kinds of selective

:

00:56:52,304 --> 00:56:57,731

admission that is somewhat race based

as long as it's not, uh, discriminatory,

:

00:56:57,731 --> 00:57:01,954

which is sort of, there's a deviation

from the Harvard Affirmative Action case.

:

00:57:02,479 --> 00:57:06,829

And, uh, two justices dissented,

Alito and Thomas, but the court

:

00:57:06,829 --> 00:57:08,309

decided not to hear the case.

:

00:57:08,309 --> 00:57:11,619

And so they're letting a Virginia plan

that was pretty controversial stand.

:

00:57:11,619 --> 00:57:13,969

And so I think that we're

going to see more of that.

:

00:57:14,349 --> 00:57:16,379

Um, and then we talked about

it, and I don't want to end on a

:

00:57:16,379 --> 00:57:17,399

bad note, so I want, like, good.

:

00:57:17,629 --> 00:57:21,219

But one area this sector does,

you mentioned it, Jet Special Ed.

:

00:57:21,694 --> 00:57:25,924

Um, and English language learners are

just two areas where we need to do better.

:

00:57:26,304 --> 00:57:31,574

Um, uh, and then we heard, uh, earlier

from a charter school, uh, that's focused

:

00:57:31,574 --> 00:57:35,724

on autism is growing that and we need

like so many more models like that because

:

00:57:35,734 --> 00:57:40,414

that is as you start to scale, people want

to ask what's happening with these kids.

:

00:57:40,424 --> 00:57:41,874

It is a lot of kids.

:

00:57:41,884 --> 00:57:45,374

Those parents expect high quality

and they're organized and, and we

:

00:57:45,374 --> 00:57:46,824

should be, we should be responsive.

:

00:57:46,824 --> 00:57:47,194

Um,

:

00:57:50,434 --> 00:57:51,224

Other questions?

:

00:57:51,264 --> 00:57:52,854

Jed: Yeah, make this one our last one.

:

00:57:53,004 --> 00:57:54,874

Andy: Uh, we're guys,

the clock is ticking.

:

00:57:55,074 --> 00:57:55,664

We'll see.

:

00:57:55,724 --> 00:57:57,734

Depends on what kind of, depends

on what kind of question is.

:

00:57:59,784 --> 00:58:07,494

Audience: Biden campaign

campaign managers.

:

00:58:07,884 --> 00:58:10,184

And one of the questions that

we're always faced with is

:

00:58:10,184 --> 00:58:11,664

why is the charter narrative.

:

00:58:12,049 --> 00:58:15,799

Always collect, uh, conflicting to

the black community, black funders,

:

00:58:16,009 --> 00:58:18,089

black electives, black allies.

:

00:58:18,349 --> 00:58:21,299

In your opinion, what should we do

to actually change that narrative

:

00:58:21,299 --> 00:58:24,009

and what can we collectively

do to change that nationally?

:

00:58:26,699 --> 00:58:27,769

Andy: That's a great question.

:

00:58:28,229 --> 00:58:33,519

Um, I think first of all, look,

we have to be honest about

:

00:58:33,519 --> 00:58:34,529

where the Democratic Party is.

:

00:58:34,529 --> 00:58:40,409

As I said, there is a tension in the party

between the Dem the Dem the Republicans,

:

00:58:40,649 --> 00:58:47,179

like, For better or for worse, that's

a, that's a party that is sort of bound

:

00:58:47,189 --> 00:58:49,579

together by a set of ideas, right?

:

00:58:49,619 --> 00:58:53,839

And that's why Trump has a pretty

high floor and a pretty low ceiling

:

00:58:54,129 --> 00:58:55,759

because you're going to get a

lot of people who are like, yeah,

:

00:58:55,759 --> 00:58:57,749

you know, I don't necessarily

like him, but I'm a Republican.

:

00:58:57,789 --> 00:58:58,599

I'm going to, I'm going to vote.

:

00:58:58,639 --> 00:58:59,289

I'm going to vote for him.

:

00:58:59,629 --> 00:59:03,129

The democratic party by

contrast is a coalition.

:

00:59:03,189 --> 00:59:05,179

It is all these different groups.

:

00:59:05,199 --> 00:59:09,669

That's somewhat by design,

um, and on education.

:

00:59:10,144 --> 00:59:13,784

The groups are in conflict and people

try to pretend that's not the case.

:

00:59:13,794 --> 00:59:17,324

And the Biden people pretend that's not

the case, but we know it is the case.

:

00:59:17,704 --> 00:59:21,284

You know, the, the two groups

that disproportionately don't like

:

00:59:21,284 --> 00:59:25,644

charter schools are public employee

unions and the teachers unions and

:

00:59:25,654 --> 00:59:29,419

sort of elite white progressives,

particularly with advanced degrees,

:

00:59:29,749 --> 00:59:34,679

which is increasingly the Democratic

Party's, uh, uh, is, is a growth area.

:

00:59:34,679 --> 00:59:37,939

You're seeing that, you know, college

educated voters, of which, by the way,

:

00:59:38,129 --> 00:59:41,119

there aren't that many, like, few, that's

fewer than 40 percent of the electorate.

:

00:59:41,489 --> 00:59:43,459

Um, and then people with,

with advanced degrees.

:

00:59:43,579 --> 00:59:48,719

Um, there's a tension there, and we should

stop trying to fuzzy it up and pretend.

:

00:59:49,309 --> 00:59:53,539

There, there is a disagreement there, and

I think we need to, uh, lean into that.

:

00:59:53,539 --> 00:59:57,794

We need to lean into that in terms

of Applying political power, forcing

:

00:59:57,794 --> 00:59:59,404

people to confront their commitments.

:

00:59:59,404 --> 01:00:03,604

I mean, I will say I am sick and

tired of hearing all about equity and

:

01:00:03,604 --> 01:00:05,164

listen to communities and all of this.

:

01:00:05,194 --> 01:00:08,784

And then suddenly that doesn't seem to

count on education and charter schools.

:

01:00:08,784 --> 01:00:11,914

And like we had Lakeisha young on

a while ago, she's very articulate.

:

01:00:13,079 --> 01:00:17,559

Um, uh, and, and I think it, it, it

requires some hard conversations.

:

01:00:17,779 --> 01:00:20,639

I don't look at, we're not going to

throw, they're going to throw, um,

:

01:00:20,939 --> 01:00:24,179

the teachers unions to the curb, nor,

nor should they, it's not about this,

:

01:00:24,439 --> 01:00:27,649

but right now those communities are

getting thrown to the curb and we need

:

01:00:27,659 --> 01:00:30,049

to just restore that equilibrium some.

:

01:00:30,099 --> 01:00:31,529

And so I think it's,

it's all those things.

:

01:00:31,529 --> 01:00:35,869

It's applying political power and

it's applying political, um, money.

:

01:00:35,939 --> 01:00:40,834

And that is hard in a polarized,

uh, Environment, but I would

:

01:00:41,554 --> 01:00:43,804

submit it's also an opportunity.

:

01:00:44,324 --> 01:00:46,714

Like, and I say that in the sense

of you hear all these polls,

:

01:00:46,724 --> 01:00:49,034

like 75 percent Biden's too old.

:

01:00:49,254 --> 01:00:49,474

Okay.

:

01:00:49,474 --> 01:00:49,734

Sure.

:

01:00:50,024 --> 01:00:51,124

Biden is pretty old.

:

01:00:51,124 --> 01:00:52,294

I think we can all stipulate that.

:

01:00:52,544 --> 01:00:55,844

But if he's on the ballot against

Trump, that's the wrong question.

:

01:00:55,844 --> 01:00:57,804

People are going to, people

are going to vote for him.

:

01:00:57,804 --> 01:00:58,084

Right?

:

01:00:58,194 --> 01:00:58,704

Same thing.

:

01:00:58,704 --> 01:01:02,644

Does a lot of you have like concerns about

Kamala Harris and her political talent or

:

01:01:02,644 --> 01:01:04,344

various positions she's taken, but like.

:

01:01:05,469 --> 01:01:08,279

Most Democrats, if she's on the ticket

against Donald Trump, that's not

:

01:01:08,279 --> 01:01:09,279

even like an interesting question.

:

01:01:09,279 --> 01:01:11,039

Of course they're going

to pull the lever for her.

:

01:01:11,039 --> 01:01:13,999

So I think there's actually

more of an opportunity to have

:

01:01:13,999 --> 01:01:15,679

some of these conversations.

:

01:01:15,919 --> 01:01:18,959

And I think if we have them the right

way, it could actually bring some

:

01:01:18,959 --> 01:01:21,939

of those voters who are, who are

leaving the democratic party back.

:

01:01:21,999 --> 01:01:25,989

Um, so that's my, I, I am, I

think we shy from this fight.

:

01:01:25,989 --> 01:01:27,419

We pretend it's not there.

:

01:01:27,779 --> 01:01:29,809

Um, people minimize.

:

01:01:30,319 --> 01:01:33,149

The polls, I'm struck like people

just, oh no that's not the case.

:

01:01:33,159 --> 01:01:35,619

It's like, this is, this

is like an empirical fact.

:

01:01:35,619 --> 01:01:36,119

You can see it.

:

01:01:36,629 --> 01:01:39,609

Um, and I think, I think we need to,

we need to lean into all those things

:

01:01:39,869 --> 01:01:42,689

and we need people to say, yeah, like

I wrote a piece a while ago where

:

01:01:42,689 --> 01:01:45,249

it was like, I was like, I don't

like Biden's positions on education.

:

01:01:45,469 --> 01:01:46,099

They're not good.

:

01:01:46,269 --> 01:01:47,749

Trump's weren't good either.

:

01:01:47,929 --> 01:01:52,979

And either being better than Trump is not

the standard and nor is like when people

:

01:01:52,979 --> 01:01:54,169

ask you like, I don't like Biden stuff.

:

01:01:54,169 --> 01:01:55,229

They're like, what do you want Trump?

:

01:01:55,459 --> 01:01:57,139

It's like, that's a stupid conversation.

:

01:01:57,149 --> 01:01:57,659

Like no.

:

01:01:57,934 --> 01:01:59,864

I don't like Biden's positions education.

:

01:01:59,864 --> 01:02:01,654

I'm still going to vote for Joe Biden.

:

01:02:01,854 --> 01:02:06,884

We need to be having more of those

kinds of, of, um, uh, conversations

:

01:02:06,894 --> 01:02:12,674

that it's, it's not like this, you

know, binary, um, because that's

:

01:02:12,674 --> 01:02:13,734

not how it's going to play out.

:

01:02:13,774 --> 01:02:17,324

And there's more space to get the

democratic party to a place where

:

01:02:17,324 --> 01:02:21,309

it's actually responsive to the

people that claims to be responsive

:

01:02:21,589 --> 01:02:23,309

to and, uh, and care about.

:

01:02:25,469 --> 01:02:25,589

Jed: Do

:

01:02:25,589 --> 01:02:26,919

we want to do one more question?

:

01:02:26,919 --> 01:02:28,349

Do we, did we have one more question?

:

01:02:28,350 --> 01:02:30,429

Andy: Okay, one more.

:

01:02:30,879 --> 01:02:31,959

Oh, do you have anything to add to that?

:

01:02:32,249 --> 01:02:34,979

Jed: Well, I mean, I do, but then

I worry about us going over time.

:

01:02:35,599 --> 01:02:40,349

So But maybe we'll just let go one

more question and I look forward to

:

01:02:40,349 --> 01:02:44,449

finding a new surfer, uh, you know a

beer And we can talk more about this.

:

01:02:44,449 --> 01:02:46,259

I want to I want to learn more from you.

:

01:02:46,979 --> 01:02:50,369

Andy: Yeah Yeah, well one thing we used

to do we used to take people around we

:

01:02:50,369 --> 01:02:55,759

used to take so I used to do The any

Casey foundation funded it and we used to

:

01:02:55,779 --> 01:02:59,259

take civil rights leaders out to charter

schools This is when there weren't so

:

01:02:59,269 --> 01:03:04,379

many so we would go any like Indianapolis

Um, or Los Angeles and we would visit

:

01:03:04,409 --> 01:03:08,579

schools and just bring people together

and we've kind of gotten away from that.

:

01:03:08,579 --> 01:03:11,249

So I think some of it is these

conversations we're talking about.

:

01:03:11,259 --> 01:03:13,519

How do you bring people together

to actually facilitate those

:

01:03:13,519 --> 01:03:17,719

conversations, get them in rooms with

people like Lakeisha, who are willing

:

01:03:17,719 --> 01:03:19,459

to have these hard conversations?

:

01:03:19,694 --> 01:03:22,724

Where you're actually seeing this,

it's very exciting, is on literacy.

:

01:03:22,994 --> 01:03:27,314

The move on reading and what you've

seen with local NAACP chapters, you

:

01:03:27,314 --> 01:03:31,074

know, getting serious about literacy,

it was, you know, the work LeVar Burton

:

01:03:31,074 --> 01:03:35,744

is doing is fantastic, but this stuff

was already happening before, hey, um,

:

01:03:35,934 --> 01:03:40,014

he or Emily Hanford, they were on the

scene, and so I think, um, there's some

:

01:03:40,014 --> 01:03:42,774

lessons there, there's some lessons

there as well, but this is like, just

:

01:03:42,794 --> 01:03:46,594

local organizing, blocking and tackling,

and too often, this stuff is happening

:

01:03:46,684 --> 01:03:48,704

at just really elite, uh, levels.

:

01:03:50,574 --> 01:03:54,554

Jed: Yes, I agree, and I think we need

a better policy agenda, um, and I think

:

01:03:54,554 --> 01:03:58,954

if we have a better policy agenda, it

will demonstrate kind of unequivocally

:

01:03:59,324 --> 01:04:04,024

greater alignment with, um, the issues

that so many black Americans who have

:

01:04:04,024 --> 01:04:08,084

been not served as well as they should

have been by our public education system

:

01:04:08,374 --> 01:04:13,434

care about, um, and it's ripe for our

taking, it is ripe for our taking,

:

01:04:13,734 --> 01:04:17,474

but we have to get our acts together

and develop an agenda that would

:

01:04:17,474 --> 01:04:20,729

allow us to drive a narrative along

those along those lines for 10 years.

:

01:04:20,759 --> 01:04:22,969

I also think conversions actually matter.

:

01:04:23,199 --> 01:04:25,038

I mean, I've had my

conversations in New Orleans.

:

01:04:25,199 --> 01:04:29,869

If we had done conversions when we

were at 30%, rather than waiting until

:

01:04:29,879 --> 01:04:35,309

70%, we would have brought so many

of the existing black educators into

:

01:04:35,459 --> 01:04:37,329

the charter school space way earlier.

:

01:04:37,489 --> 01:04:40,139

But we didn't make, we didn't do

that, and we're still suffering

:

01:04:40,139 --> 01:04:41,879

because of that to this very day.

:

01:04:41,889 --> 01:04:45,979

So, these are things that I think if

we just get smarter and learn from

:

01:04:45,979 --> 01:04:50,139

our own experience, We're going to,

I think, have an opportunity to drive

:

01:04:50,139 --> 01:04:52,489

a narrative that's going to resonate

in the black community better than

:

01:04:52,489 --> 01:04:53,869

it has in some, in some places.

:

01:04:53,899 --> 01:04:54,619

Andy: There's two hands.

:

01:04:54,649 --> 01:04:56,329

Let's do a quick lightning

round and then we'll land.

:

01:04:56,329 --> 01:04:59,599

Audience: My question actually ties in

really well to this conversation, but

:

01:04:59,829 --> 01:05:03,519

Andy, you mentioned earlier African

American voters, Hispanic voters

:

01:05:03,709 --> 01:05:05,759

being in favor of charter schools.

:

01:05:06,129 --> 01:05:11,839

And so my question is, well, we're all

aware that there's a large amount of

:

01:05:11,839 --> 01:05:16,139

communities, specifically in the inner

city who are not showing up at the polls.

:

01:05:16,844 --> 01:05:23,614

So, what are some efforts being

made by advocacy groups to gain an

:

01:05:23,654 --> 01:05:27,663

improved perspective about the true

concerns from those communities?

:

01:05:27,663 --> 01:05:33,534

Jed: I think, um, all that we can do to

get our parents involved here, I know, uh,

:

01:05:33,534 --> 01:05:38,534

Gregory is here from, from murmuration,

uh, and this is one where I, I believe

:

01:05:38,534 --> 01:05:42,684

our larger charter school organizations

have a very important role to play.

:

01:05:43,104 --> 01:05:47,754

In terms of getting their parents, uh,

engaged to provide the parent contact

:

01:05:47,754 --> 01:05:52,663

information to the advocacy partners and

to get better over time at turning, um,

:

01:05:52,714 --> 01:05:57,644

turning folks out and, um, in places where

we have done that, we are demonstrating

:

01:05:57,964 --> 01:06:00,384

a growing ability to, to win races.

:

01:06:00,744 --> 01:06:03,924

So this is what I just state

totally within our space.

:

01:06:04,174 --> 01:06:07,514

The thing that makes the charter school

world different is not only can we

:

01:06:07,594 --> 01:06:11,334

build schools that are going to be more

successful, but we're building a base.

:

01:06:11,814 --> 01:06:15,774

And the base has the possibility for

being the counterweight the base by the

:

01:06:15,784 --> 01:06:19,454

way is higher membership dues coming

to your state associations So we have

:

01:06:19,454 --> 01:06:24,329

sustainable advocacy for the long term

But it's also a base where we have boots

:

01:06:24,329 --> 01:06:28,369

on the ground, but we need to build these

systems such that we can more reliably

:

01:06:28,389 --> 01:06:30,259

turn people out over the long term.

:

01:06:30,439 --> 01:06:33,329

But I, I think we're getting stronger at

this, but we've got a lot further to go.

:

01:06:33,429 --> 01:06:35,538

Andy: And I guess, look, I don't

want to make this partisan,

:

01:06:35,538 --> 01:06:36,809

but I'll just say the thing.

:

01:06:37,309 --> 01:06:41,599

You've got two candidates, one of

whom, just last week, threatened to

:

01:06:41,599 --> 01:06:47,259

throw our allies who bled for us after

9 11, just throw them under the bus.

:

01:06:47,549 --> 01:06:48,939

Says all kinds of crazy things.

:

01:06:48,969 --> 01:06:52,894

Oh, and by the way, didn't respect the

results of a democratic election, which

:

01:06:52,894 --> 01:06:58,134

is our like foundation of where we

live, all those things, not to mention,

:

01:06:58,134 --> 01:07:02,304

it's all the craziness and Democrats

are saying, how do we beat this guy?

:

01:07:02,704 --> 01:07:06,974

And that's on the Democrats a

little bit, like what's on offer.

:

01:07:07,374 --> 01:07:08,574

It has to be compelling.

:

01:07:08,694 --> 01:07:10,324

Right now it is not compelling.

:

01:07:10,334 --> 01:07:11,734

That's why we're in this situation.

:

01:07:11,934 --> 01:07:16,184

And I do think education is one

piece of making it more compelling.

:

01:07:16,334 --> 01:07:18,254

I mean, what do people

fundamentally care about?

:

01:07:18,284 --> 01:07:19,254

It's basic stuff.

:

01:07:19,484 --> 01:07:20,844

They want economic opportunity.

:

01:07:20,844 --> 01:07:22,114

They want safe communities.

:

01:07:22,124 --> 01:07:23,104

They want good schools.

:

01:07:23,104 --> 01:07:24,829

This isn't rocket science.

:

01:07:24,879 --> 01:07:28,739

And like, those are all important

things for the people in this room.

:

01:07:28,788 --> 01:07:30,719

It's the good schools part of that agenda.

:

01:07:30,949 --> 01:07:34,509

And we've got to put stuff on offer

that is going to be compelling.

:

01:07:34,529 --> 01:07:35,939

And right now that's not the case.

:

01:07:35,949 --> 01:07:37,479

That's why you keep seeing the polls.

:

01:07:37,499 --> 01:07:37,959

And so.

:

01:07:38,699 --> 01:07:43,009

These conversations that need to

happen about how do we change how the

:

01:07:43,009 --> 01:07:46,479

Democratic Party is perceived, which

is not based on just changing how

:

01:07:46,479 --> 01:07:49,899

it's perceived, it's changed based

on its policy agenda and what it is

:

01:07:49,899 --> 01:07:51,709

actually, what it is actually doing.

:

01:07:53,459 --> 01:07:55,499

Alright, did you, is that last question?

:

01:07:56,038 --> 01:07:56,329

All right.

:

01:07:56,339 --> 01:07:56,719

Okay.

:

01:07:57,059 --> 01:07:59,389

We want to thank you all so much.

:

01:07:59,399 --> 01:08:00,399

First of all, for your patience.

:

01:08:00,399 --> 01:08:02,319

I know we're standing

between you and an open bar.

:

01:08:03,079 --> 01:08:07,699

Uh, uh, and again, just for, for

having us and letting us try this,

:

01:08:07,699 --> 01:08:09,779

uh, try out this, this live format.

:

01:08:09,779 --> 01:08:10,919

Thank you so much.

:

01:08:10,979 --> 01:08:11,199

Jed: Yeah.

:

01:08:11,449 --> 01:08:12,359

Thank you guys.

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