Mayor Nagin isn't the only Democrat showing signs of interest in charter schools. The Los Angeles Times profiles Green Dot charter schools founder (and "Rock the Vote" creator) Steve Barr and his campaign to take over a struggling high school in L.A. Who are his strongest opponents? Members of his own party, including Superintendent (and former Colorado governor) Roy Romer (who called it a "hostile takeover") and, of course, the United Teachers of Los Angeles. But "Barr, a longtime Democratic activist, said he was tired of waiting for the district to take big steps toward reforming its schools." Right on. In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm, who heretofore has had no trouble containing her ardor for charters, sent a scathing letter in defense of charter schools following a proposal from her own Detroit Public Schools transition team, whose job is to ease the transition from a state-appointed to an elected board, that charters be banned statewide. "This recommendation suggests that the only way to bring students back to the DPS is to eliminate educational options that parents and children have today.... The Transition Team instead should remain focused on finding ways to improve the Detroit Public Schools to give parents more, not fewer, opportunities to choose good schools for their children." These are sentiments upon which left-wingers and right-wingers (not to mention two-wingers like Gadfly) should be able to agree.
"Charter School Crusader Makes Waves in L.A.," by Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2005 (registration required)
"Granholm warns school panel," by Christine MacDonald, Detroit News, October 11, 2005