DINO is an acronym for Democrat in Name Only. We are seeing a rise in the activism of education DINOS. Education is an issue that hits close to home and forces people to confront the depth of their beliefs in things like “the common good” and “equality of opportunity.” These ideals are often abandoned when forced to compete with the promise of political gains or their desires for the specific needs of their children. So we get self-justifying stories about abandoning urban schools and advocacy for charters and ability grouping among those who desire to maintain some relationship to the public schools.
This consumerist stance pays only lip service to both Democratic and democratic values.
Phillip Kovacs of the University of Alabama and the Educational Policy Blog has a great post up about two of the biggest DINO players in the education policy and politics; Democrats for Education Reform and The Education Sector
Here is how he ends it:
At present organizations such as these dominate policy making. I’m interested in ending that dominance. Perhaps the problem is that we have not pushed ideology enough. The belief that education should serve democracy is an ideological position, is it not? Perhaps we need to do a better job of marketing that brand…
Marketing is part of it, but I think we need to do a better job in our schools and homes teaching the privileged to understand and work for equity and justice and equality. Tom Beebe of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools closes his emails with this quote:
“The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped,” — Hubert Humphrey, 1976
I’d like to see that idea included in state and national standards.
Thomas J. Mertz