Eric Blanc asks in Jacobin why Elizabeth Warren does not have a plan for K-12 schooling. She has expressed various positions on education but her overall policy about testing, charter schools, and accountability are murky at best. He questions how different they are from the Bush-Obama strategies.

Blanc recently wrote a comprehensive book about the wave of teachers’ strikes of 2018-19 called Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics. During the strikes, he traveled the nation to talk to strike leaders and striking teachers to understand what was at stake.

He writes:

Elizabeth Warren has a commendably progressive platform on most issues. But her past approach to public education has been closer to that of free-market reformers than most people realize.

The Massachusetts senator’s track record on education has received little scrutiny. Not only was Warren until recently a proponent of market-driven education reform and so-called teacher accountability, but her current platform silences, staff appointments, and political equivocations raise questions about her commitment to reversing the billionaire-funded onslaught against public schools…

There are good reasons to doubt that a Warren presidency would reverse the policies of privatization and education reform that have decimated American’s school system since the 1990s. For someone whose campaign motto is “Warren has a plan for that,” it’s noteworthythat she has not yet issued any plan for K-12 schools — in contrast with Bernie Sanders’ ambitious Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education.

Much of what we do know about Warren’s past and present education proposals, as well as the composition of her staff, should be a cause for concern for teachers, students, and parents.

If Warren wants the support of public school teachers and parents, she must issue a plan that clarifies her plans on testing and privatization.

She needs to be crystal clear about whether she would eliminate the federal mandate for annual testing in grades 3-8, a leftover from George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, which has been an expensive dud. The testing has enriched the testing industry but had no effect on student scores.

Warren needs to take a stand on the federal Charter Schools Program, which is Betsy DeVos’ slush fund for corporate charter chain that are already amply funded by billionaires.