December 20, 2006
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do." So spake Emerson. Let us hope that District of Columbia mayor-elect Adrian Fenty possesses a great soul, for he certainly lacks consistency. In April 2004, then-council member Fenty strongly opposed Mayor Anthony Williams's school takeover proposal and said, "There's no evidence that a superintendent cannot run the school system well reporting to a community elected board." When running for mayor, however, Fenty suddenly reversed his outlook. Now he likes mayoral control of schools. Regardless, we're glad he's keen to reform the District's woeful schools, and his education consultants are set to release a detailed plan in coming days. It's heartening to watch the new mayor put his much-remarked youthful vigor into improving D.C.'s classrooms. It would behoove him, however, to remember his earlier insight, that mayoral control is no silver bullet but one small projectile in a larger battle.
"Fenty Takes Council Members on a Field Trip," by David Nakamura, Washington Post, December 9, 2006