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 2010: Mayor Adrian FentyFrom Adrian Fenty's first day as mayor of Washington DC, he has addressed the district's troubled school system head-on. Education reform has been his administration's hallmark, as he's focused on results and accountability. The student outcomes already apparent just a few years into his tenure are astounding.Fenty’s education restructuring plan gave him mayoral control of the district's schools, enabling him to appoint a schools chancellor who answers directly to him. DC's dynamic chancellor Michelle Rhee, a true reform champion, has already said she'll quit if Fenty loses. Rhee has drawn plain lines in the sand where adult interests like tenure trump the interests of students. One of the most important results is that she's demonstrated the kinds of reforms that are possible when would-be reformers throughout the country are willing to get messy. Her departure would be a massive setback for the reform movement.Election day is one week from today. Fenty has a tough week ahead of him but he can still pull this out with your help. Close primary elections (and this one’s close – Fenty and Gray have been neck-and-neck for weeks) come down to turnout, which is why any contribution, big or small, makes a huge difference.