General Question

skfinkel's avatar

What is the best way to get into the political scene to make changes in education?

Asked by skfinkel (12872 points ) November 8th, 2006
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Supergirl's avatar
Hmm...that is a good question. There are some non-profits in Seattle that are doing stuff for education. Obviously, the Gates Foundation is doing tons of stuff politically.
skfinkel's avatar
Yes, and I am in seattle.
lauradward's avatar
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occ's avatar
run for local school board or get active in a local candidate's campaign for school board. Too often those candidates are just politicians who know nothign about what it really takes to improve the educational system
lauradward's avatar
A good way to get started in the political scene without a change in your education is to do canvassing work with a grassroots organization. This is what I did on the 2004 presidential campaign. I got hired by an organization called Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. that does canvassing for various liberal organizations. I got trained very quickly to be a paid organizer in the presidential campaign and ended up being sent to Minnesota to organize precincts there through MoveonPAC (which had contracted GCI to hire organizers for them). While canvassing isn't for everyone (actually, I found it quite miserable) this is a great entry into the world of politics. If nothing else you should be able to do some networking that will ultimately give you the in to land a job with a state representative. I have tons of friends who worked with me on the campaign and ended up in positions such as the ones I named above.
occ's avatar
Yes--GCI is great for training people but it's mostly for young people right out of college. Anotehr option for people who are considering a second career in politics is the Center for Progresive Leadership. Check out their website. They offer free trainings to show you how to make a bigger impact in local political races.
lauradward's avatar
Just realized your question was specific to education so I don't know how much my recommendations will help you but I think some of what I said still stands! ;-)
skfinkel's avatar
Good suggestions. Thank you.
benjiwitz's avatar
Well,first ask yourself what sorta change you want to see and then ask yourself what changes need to happen in order for that change to come about... and then you're closer to your real answer. Change can happen at all levels and you've got to start somewhere. GCI and MoveOnPac are good but mostly for major campaigns... if you're interested in getting into the nittygritty of education issues, there are a whole host of groups doing things are ALL levels.. if you can be more specific, I can help you find something more in tune with your interests. bensmilowitz@gmail.com
benjiwitz's avatar
orli would be useful on this too
skfinkel's avatar
I'm concerned right now about what people are doing in early childhood: teaching little children who should be playing. It's a result of worry that they won't know enough by the time they get to kindergarten. The concept may be based in something right (ie young children need much exposure to puzzles, books, etc.) but it becomes distorted.
benjiwitz's avatar
well one approach could be academic... getting stuff published on this.. and another approach would probably be more of a PR approach... raise public awareness through op-eds, a website, generating public discussion... i'm not quite sure how a policy approach would look.

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