2016 provided reversals for Massachusetts Republicans in education policy. Not only did the expansion of the school choice initiative fail at the ballot box, but the repeal of the common core curriculum was stopped by the judiciary from even getting to a vote. Some who would say that this means that the issue was settled,. that it is foolhardy to attempt to continue to change education policy in our Commonwealth under a Republican banner.
I believe the opposite is true. I believe it is imperative that the Republican Party stand firmly with parents and against the education bureaucracy.
The Republican brand Commonwealth is tarnished, for decades we have been branded as uncaring racists bent on the destruction of hard-working families in the pay of shadowy oligarchs. As a party we have not done well in proving these charges false. We have not explained to voters how our policies would benefit them. We also have not done enough outreach inner-city and urban districts in our Commonwealth. We have also not encouraged enough young, minority, and women, to run for office under our banner. None of these facts are news to anyone.
What is new is how I propose we correct that perception and re-create our brand. Across our Commonwealth there are parents who are frustrated and disappointed in the in what is going on at their local schools. These people worked very hard to collect the signatures from both ballot initiatives. These people also are more diverse and younger than your standard Republican stereotype. It is from this group of people that we must recruit candidates. It is this issue that has created a fire in the belly of people, and it is these people we must support, mentor, and empower if we will ever hope to take the GOP out of the electoral wilderness.
Yes the teachers union and education bureaucrats are powerful and well-funded and blindly loyal to the Democratic Party. But even in that political marriage is showing signs of stress. There are teachers who have rebelled against the Common Core and have been punished by their own union. Such incidences cause public school teachers to ask, “who is union really working for we teachers on the front line or someone else?” If a union looses the faith of its members it soon finds there is nothing left.
I have confidence that the people that I met last year working so hard on ballot initiatives have not given up. To make changes to education in our Commonwealth they need the expertise, experience, and organization that the Republican party can provide. These are the people who will help us reinvigorate the Republican Party in Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
If you think I am all wet and this is the dumbest idea that I’ve ever said, that’s why we have comments here at Red Mass Group.