Last November’s elections reshaped the look of state legislatures across the country, giving it a decidedly Republican orientation. The GOP now holds more legislative seats than at any time since the 1920s.
What does this mean for education? We can probably expect more voucher proposals, promises to take a harder line on controlling spending, and challenges to teacher tenure, as I explain in a new legislative preview in EdWeek. But as the story points out, many of those issues don’t strictly break down along partisan lines. It probably says something about the political Zeitgeist that Democrats appear to be embracing some of those ideas, on new teacher hiring and evaluation policy in particular, as they did during the legislative scramble last year during the run-up to the federal Race to the Top competition.
In New Jersey, Democrats in control the legislature have shown an interest in tenure reform. Same goes for Illinois, where a couple of bipartisan committees are looking at making sweeping changes to teachers’ job protections—including limiting their ability to strike.
Expect similar efforts in other states, with a lot of topsy-turvy politics and policymaking along the way.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.