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.
September 2009: California State Sen. Gloria Romero (SD-24)State Senator Gloria Romero is the chair of California's Senate Education Committee and was the state's first woman Majority Leader. She is running for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010, and simultaneously promoting California's aggressive pursuit of Race to the Top funding."The Race to the Top is about equality – ensuring that every child from every background has access to a quality education, including an effective teacher and principal," Romero said. Determined to make California more competitive for the Race to the Top, she organized hearings of the Education Committee to examine California's prohibition against using student data in personnel or compensation decisions. She acknowledged that the hearings, which began in late August, would be contoversial but expects a debate about "much more than just a firewall and data. It’s about having the courage to restructure chronically low-performing schools and exploring greater options to recruit talent into the classroom." Having a courageous Superintendent, as California attempts to race to the top, will set a powerful precedent for the rest of the country.