Thursday, June 12, 2008
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's campaign against school vouchers in the District has hit a new low. While proclaiming a desire to protect children, she is seeking to eliminate a program that benefits them and that is valued by their parents. Her actions make it all the more urgent for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to convince Congress that the educational interests of children are more important than party ideology. Failure to do so would imperil not just the 1,900 children in the scholarship program but the essence of school reform in the District.Also, the D.C. Council is trying to regulate charter schools. I have a letter to the editor on this today.
In what can only be described as an Orwellian political move, the D.C. Council wants to get involved in running charter schools ["Attack on Charters," editorial, June 9].The legislation recently introduced by council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) strikes at the heart of the reason we have these schools in the first place. Charters were created with the hope that institutions free to develop their own rules would find innovative ways to teach children whom traditional schools have never done a good job educating.
This bill is a slap in the face to the freedom that has led us to have the nation's leading charter movement.But what depresses me most about the proposed action is that the council did nothing while D.C. public schools turned out generation after generation of socially promoted students. Charters are putting an end to this, and they need to be allowed to continue their work without coercion from the council.
MARK S. LERNER
Chairman, William E. Doar Jr. PCS for the Performing Arts