The latest tangent from the speculation regarding Bennet’s potential as Secretary of Education, is a press release from the Denver teacher’s union supporting the choice:
“He is reform-minded and interested in new approaches,” wrote Kim Ursetta, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. “As a non-traditional superintendent, he thinks outside the box to find new answers to old problems, especially concerning student achievement. . . . Michael Bennet would bring new ideas and approaches to the U.S. Department of Education.”
I could not find the actual release online (please send the link if someone can); the following is from an article in the Denver Post.
Now DPS and the DCTA certainly have a cordial relationship, but they have clashed pretty hard over changes to ProComp, and Innovation Schools – both “out of the box” solutions. DCTA’s support on the recent DPS bond was minimal. And in the last round of Board elections, there was a clear divide between the DPS preference (unstated, but palpable) to stay with the current board members (Pena, Hoyt) and the slate that DCTA supported (all of whom lost). The is an upcoming battle (which could be a ways off, but will come) on the pension, which is financially unsustainable.
Cynics might believe that DCTA has met a formidable foe in Bennet, and their interest here is to see him leave in the hopes that a new Superintendent might be more pliable. Education has a lot of cynics.
I personally still think the Secretary job goes to Duncan, and the test of the relationship between Bennet and DCTA will be the next time DCTA is in the box, and Bennet is outside.