In a world of red-blue political maps, it’s important to remember that good (and bad) ideas cross partisan lines. Such is the case with education reform.

In Michigan, for example, Tim Melton is a member of the state’s House of Representatives. He’s going to take a position with StudentsFirst, a group formed by Michelle Rhee, noted reformer who shook up things at the DC Public Schools. According to the Detroit News, “He was a leader in pushing through changes to teacher tenure and other major education reforms, often over objections from fellow Democrats. StudentsFirst advocates merit pay, tenure reform and other measures Melton supports.”

Melton has also been a member of a national group called Democrats for Education Reform. There’s a Wisconsin chapter, but not a Minnesota one. Still, give Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, credit for signing the alternative teacher certification bill earlier this year. Roughly one out of every four members of the House DFL caucus voted for the bill, as did two out of every five Senate DFL caucus members.

The alternative certification bill was a small step forward. Many good ideas were rolled into the omnibus education bill passed in the regular session and then vetoed by Gov. Dayton. They ought to get a rehearing, and further consideration by both parties. Education reform is too vital to be simply a partisan issue.