DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. Each month, we identify one candidate who is standing up for meaningful reform and innovation, and we help demonstrate the broad base of support for his or her efforts. Please give as generously as you can.
August 2010: Bill FergusonBill Ferguson, a former Teach For America corps member and Baltimore Public Schools teacher, is running for State Senate in Maryland. Most recently, he worked for Baltimore's reform-minded City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso. Bill began his working life teaching U.S. History and U.S. Government to ninth and tenth graders in a breakout academy of the old Southwestern High School, historically one of Baltimore’s most challenged high schools. Recognizing the injustices that City Schools students faced everyday - too few classroom materials, dilapidated facilities, insufficient student transportation options - Bill fought to establish a culture of achievement in his classroom everyday. By the end of his second year of teaching, Bill had motivated his U.S. Government students to earn the highest scores in the school’s history on the U.S. Government Maryland High School Assessment (HSA). While teaching, Bill also earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching from the Johns Hopkins School of Education.It's rare to see candidates for public office highlight their support for education reform on their web sites. (Usually they say they support smaller classes, but that's it - even the good ones!) Bill's site highlights prominently his background as an education reformer and a dedicated public servant.Bill is taking on both the political establishment and the education establishment so every dime matters. DFER considers this race an investment in a great candidate who will be on the scene for a long time to come.