While the rest of the nation was riveted by the final days of the presidential campaign, the education world was paying equally close attention to Massachusetts, where voters decided whether to allow more charter schools in their state. The ballot question, called Question 2, attracted millions of dollars of advertising from supporters and opponents alike, making it the most expensive ballot-question battle in the nation, according to the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity.
Election Day has come and gone, and 62 percent of Massachusetts voters rejected the expansion of charter schools.
Writing at the pro-reform website The 74, Richard Whitmire framed the issue as one of fairness and equity: “Will voters in Newton (median house listing price: $1.2 million) vote to help out voters in Roxbury (median list price: $479,000) looking for better school options?” he asked.
Now that we know the answer is no, don't point angry fingers at selfish Massachusetts voters: Blame falls equally upon a movement that has long been a bit too enamored of our own civil-rights-issue-of-our-time rhetoric to worry much about building a constituency among the middle class.
At a conference at the American Enterprise Institute last month, I listened to...