by David Safier
Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is basically a front group for the conservative "education reform" movement — i.e. privatization and corporate takeover of education. For more information, here's a detailed post I wrote about the group and its direct as well as indirect connections to conservative education groups.
DFER set up an Arizona branch earlier this year. I wrote a post about the state director and the 6 people who formed the board. And then there were four. Two of the people listed as board members have aksked to have their names removed from the website.
The first ex-DFER board member is Julie Erfle. When I mentioned her in the earlier post, I said she didn't fit the DFER mold. Turned out I was right. Her name was listed on the board without her permission, and when she saw it was there, she had it removed. Currently she's working on David Garcia's campaign for Superintendent of Education, which puts her way up there in my book. Go dg4az — David Garcia for Arizona! (More information about dg4az on Facebook and the campaign website.)
The second ex-DFER board member is Rep. Mark Cardenas (LD-19). He contacted me recently to let me know he had his name removed from the list. I'm pleased to see that, but I'm still not quite sure where he stands of education issues. His candidacy was endorsed by American Federation for Children, an unabashedly conservative group which I would describe as the right wing brother of DFER. And he's currently supporting the work of the group, Stand For Children, which is another one of those groups that makes progressive noises while its money and support goes toward anti-union, pro-privatization candidates and issues. However, I want to be fair to Cardenas. I'll watch his votes and statements on education this next legislative session to see where he stands on the issues.