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.
January 2010: Texas State Rep. Candidate Eric Johnson (HD-100)
Eric Johnson, candidate for Texas State Representative, grew up in West Dallas and was fortunate enough to
have received a Boys and Girls Club scholarship to attend Greenhill
School starting in second grade, from which he graduated in 1994. He
then went on to graduate from Harvard cum laude before earning a law
degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public
Affairs with a focus on education policy and international affairs from
Princeton University. After spending time as a lawyer at Haynes and
Boone, he has now decided to represent the neighborhood he grew up in,
which desperately needs his support and representation.
The incumbent in the race, who has a strong anti-reform record, is currently facing trial on public corruption charges for allegedly accepting bribes from a developer. (This hasn't stopped a lot of traditional Democratic groups from endorsing the incumbent.) The primary is March 2nd.
As the Dallas Morning News put it in their endorsement: "
A lawyer and an active volunteer in the community, Johnson is attuned to the challenges facing many of the neighborhoods in the district. He has spent time getting up to speed on an array of legislative issues, but he has made K-12 education his priority. Johnson, who is 34, astutely points out that the dropout rate is a critical issue; he argues that failing to finish high school amounts to a one-way ticket to economic hardship or incarceration."
While Johnson aspires to spur change and help at-risk students succeed, (Incumbent Terri) Hodge seems to personify the soft bigotry of low expectations. Her goals – both for herself and her district – are disappointingly modest."