Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Crist raises white flag on school choice

The Wall Street Journal rebukes Florida Governor Charlie Crist for failing to challenge a ruling ensuring only local school boards have the authority to authorize charter schools.

[This creates] a fox-in-the-hen-house situation in which the same institutions that most oppose school choice will be in a position to block its expansion. Charter schools compete with district schools for students and teachers. And the teachers unions that control the traditional public school system fear that more charters mean smaller school districts and fewer dues-paying union jobs.

Contrast this with former Michigan Governor John Engler, who took the school-choice cause all the way to the state Supreme Court, eventually winning.

Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform says independent authorizers are absolutely vital for reform:

"You look at everyone from the left-leaning Education Sector to the Progressive Policy Institute folks to the [right-leaning] Center for Education Reform -- this is something where we all agree. Independent authorizers are the key to assuring a sustainable quality growth model for charters."

On this heels of his Labarga appointment, another week of bad news begins for Charlie Crist.