Opinion
Federal Letter to the Editor

ALEC Responds to Ravitch Blog Post

May 15, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

As the director of the education task force at the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC—the organization singled out in a recent edweek.org blog post by Diane Ravitch, “What You Need To Know About Alec” (May 1, 2012)—I felt compelled to respond. Ms. Ravitch would like you to believe that all of the education reforms that have happened in the past few years are because of ALEC. In reality, we are far from alone in this effort. There are dozens of organizations on both sides of the political spectrum that have spent decades promoting the policies we support. In fact, President Barack Obama has done more for charter schools and teaching-profession reforms than any other administration. Apparently, our ideas are only acceptable if they stay confined to think tanks, books, and intellectual debates. Now, as decades of work are paying off in policy changes, the other side is crying foul.

Alec supports policies that empower parents with choices, reward teachers for merit, and hold schools accountable for financial and academic outcomes. We pursue these aims by gathering state legislators, businesses, nonprofit researchers, and others to debate and endorse policies that are worthy of attention. Ms. Ravitch takes exception to the notion that legislators are engaged in a practice of introducing legislation containing ideas that are not their own. This is the basic foundation of a representative democracy, which she well knows.

Our model bills are policy proposals written in a format that legislators deal with every day. We do not lobby, endorse specific legislation at the state level, or involve ourselves with tailoring our policies to fit the specific statutory framework of individual states. If we are asked for policy guidance we give it, and if we see reform take place we celebrate it—just like any other group.

Adam Peshek

Director, Education Task Force

American Legislative Exchange Council

Washington, D.C.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2012 edition of Education Week as ALEC Responds to Ravitch Blog Post

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Biden Admin. Says New K-12 Agenda Tackles Absenteeism, Tutoring, Extended Learning
The White House unveiled a set of K-12 priorities at the start of an election year.
4 min read
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona participates in a roundtable discussion with students from Dartmouth College on Jan. 10, 2024, on the school's campus, in Hanover, N.H.
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona participates in a roundtable discussion with students from Dartmouth College on Jan. 10, 2024, on the school's campus, in Hanover, N.H.
Steven Senne/AP
Federal Lawmakers Want to Reauthorize a Major Education Research Law. What Stands in the Way?
Lawmakers have tried and failed to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act over the past nearly two decades.
7 min read
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, joins Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, as Starbucks founder Howard Schultz answers questions about the company's actions during an ongoing employee unionizing campaign, at the Capitol in Washington, on March 29, 2023.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, joins Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, at the Capitol in Washington, on March 29, 2023. The two lawmakers sponsored a bill to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Federal Will the Government Actually Shut Down This Time? What Educators Should Know
The federal government is once again on the verge of shutting down. Here's why educators should care, but shouldn't necessarily worry.
1 min read
Photo illustration of Capitol building and closed sign.
iStock
Federal Biden Admin. Warns Schools to Protect Students From Antisemitism, Islamophobia
The U.S. Department of Education released a "Dear Colleague" letter reminding schools of their obligation to address discrimination.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at the Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during an interview in his office at the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP