Last night, in addition to Jon Stewart breaking my heart by deserting me forever, 150 or so Republicans gathered on stage in Cleveland to debate, among other things,
whether women should be able to make decisions for themselves and their health, and whether high standards are important for students. While the topic of education didn’t take up quite as much time as I would have liked, the candidates certainly hit on some education hotspots. And while our foes like to paint the pro-reform community as a monolithic group, we actually come from many different perspectives. Some of us prefer a strong federal role, others of us believe states should lead the charge. Some believe that choice should be limited to public options, others advocate that public funds should be able to be used anywhere parents choose including private options. And so on. But there are things we agree on: High standards for students are necessary. Students and families deserve great options, no matter their zip code. And that it’s so much fun when presidential candidates debate the things we work on day in and day out. EduTwitter was out in full-force last night, celebrating, recapping, analyzing, and fact-checking: https://twitter.com/AustinRay_EB/status/629486848818200576 https://twitter.com/DFER_News/status/629465541867081728 https://twitter.com/mpolikoff/status/629469508764237828 https://twitter.com/rolandsmartin/status/629470829324173312 https://twitter.com/PoliticsK12/status/629478171172294656 https://twitter.com/HuffPostEdu/status/629470546602913796 https://twitter.com/rickhess99/status/629471323178278912 https://twitter.com/kjemoore15/status/629475254990192641 https://twitter.com/citizenwillis/status/629471141170663424 https://twitter.com/PoliticsK12/status/629470940376793088 https://twitter.com/StateEdWatch/status/629488018714415104
Valentina Payne joined Bellwether Education Partners in 2021 as chief of staff to Andy Rotherham on the External Relations team. Prior to Bellwether, she spent seven years at brightbeam, where she most recently served as its chief growth officer, overseeing operations, finance, fundraising, and strategic growth of the organization.