She played a large role in modifying the Democratic platform on education, and in inserting language that makes it clear the Dems are now fully in opposition to closing schools based on test scores, and using test scores to evaluate teachers or unfairly label minority, ELL, and special ed students. It also supports the Opt-Out movement.
The platform now rejects for-profit charter schools, and forces transparency for current charters. It calls for charters to accept a population representative of their neighborhoods, as well as a proportionate number of ELL and special education students. The language also states that charters should be democratically governed--i.e., they will be accountable to the public for their finances and governance.
I've debated for a while if I wanted to discuss whether I think it's a net positive or negative to have Randi, a long time friend of Hillary Clinton, take a position of influence in her administration. Personally, I felt, and now feel strongly, that she will be an asset to the Democrats and education. This platform spits in the face of faux democrat groups like DFER, and Randi had much to do with implementing the language.
If you have any doubts about the strength of these platform ideas, you need look no further than the reaction of Shavar Jeffries of DFER, who said this language is an "unfortunate departure from President Obama's historic education legacy...", to which I can only say, thank heavens. And thank Randi.
This should put to bed the foolish notion that Hillary would close half the schools in the country, which was debunked long ago, but continues to be pushed by Hillary's foes.
Finally, it can only be a net positive to have a union leader of one of the largest and most progressive unions in the country to have the President's ear. Especially when she is using her voice to support teachers and help put an end to the testing mania, as she has done in influencing the Democratic platform.
Of course, Clinton's detractors may claim that this is only in the platform, and there's no guarantee that it will become policy. But that is true of every single item in the platform of both candidates. Platforms do, however, influence policy, and this platform represents an about-face from Obama's policies. It's an utter rejection of Duncan and King's reform ideas.
It's a new way forward. So kudos to Randi and the other education advocates who helped fashion this strong rebuke of ed reform.