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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.
July 2010: Speaker of the Michigan House Andy Dillon
Michigan Speaker and candidate for Governor Andy Dillon helped lead Michigan's impressive Race To The Top legislative campaign last December, when the Legislature acted to beef up efforts to redesign failing schools, loosen teacher certification restrictions to allow for groups like Teach For America to operate, expand the number of highly successful charter schools (a smart cap), and introduce the use of student performance data in annual teacher and principal evaluations.Support for these kinds of reforms, championed by the Obama administration, has put Dillon out of favor with the state's powerful teachers union. The deep-pocketed Michigan Education Association is putting significant resources behind his primary opponent, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.This one is shaping up to be a tough battle. The primary is August 3, and a poll released in the Detroit News this week showed Bernero gaining ground on Dillon, trailing now by 9.2 percentage points. The key to this race is that 39.5% of Michigan Dems still claim to be "undecided."This is one of those races where significant support from education reformers nationwide can make a tremendous difference in what could be a very close race. Click here if you'd like to contribute online to Dillon's campaign. Shoot me an email at email@example.com to let me know you did so we can track it. If you'd prefer to send a check that we can pass along with other DFER contributions, you can send it to us at 928 Broadway, Suite 505, New York, NY 10010.