Fenty forges ahead

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is spending political capital like it grows on trees. At least that's how it seemed last week, when Fenty announced his plans to close 23 District schools and received serious backlash from the city council. The Washington Post reports that Councilmember (and former Mayor) Marion Barry, normally such a picture of poise and decorum, attempted to give Fenty advice on his governing style and then swore when the mayor didn't care to listen. Those most affected by the school closures aren't too thrilled with hizzoner, either. Clarence Cherry, president of the PTA at the soon-to-be-shuttered John Burroughs Elementary School, said Fenty's decision "puts a question mark on the leadership we elected for the city." The mayor, for his part, thinks he still represents "that overwhelming tidal wave of outpouring of ‘Fix the schools.' People want us to fix the schools almost by any means necessary because it's taken so long." The Post editorial board is siding with Fenty, writing that "the final decisions should be based on the needs of students and not tit-for-tat ward politics." Gadfly agrees. Fenty is clearly thinking of children first; heaven knows what the council members, especially Mr. 8th Ward, are thinking of.

"D.C. School Closings," Washington Post, November 29, 2007

"Fenty's Mode On Schools Is Breeding Alienation," by David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart, Washington Post, December 3, 2007

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