Under Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, our nation’s capital is again a bastion of urban corruption.
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The AFT’s D.C. affiliate, which spent $1 million to help Gray defeat Fenty, expected the mayor to appoint a schools chancellor more to its liking, and roll back many of his predecessor’s school reforms. But Gray stunned the union (and school reformers) when he chose Rhee’s protégé, Kaya Henderson, to take her place. While Henderson has eschewed Rhee’s high-profile approach to running the district (and refuses to do Time covers with brooms in hand), she has largely stayed the course. This, along with recommendations this past February from a mayoral commission to replace some of the city’s traditional district schools with charters, has angered the union. The strain was clear last April when AFT local president Nathan Saunders criticized Gray and Henderson for outlining a five-year plan that “only amounts to half” of what the union thinks the city should do.
The city’s charter schools, the educational providers of choice for 41 percent of the city’s school-aged children, backed Gray after spending years sparring with Fenty over his penchant for violating the city’s school funding formula and withholding millions that was due them. But the mayor hasn’t repaid them in kind. Charter operators were particularly miffed late last year after Gray proposed to hand D.C. Public Schools an extra $21 million to help the district address cost overruns. Although Gray tried to make amends by giving charters an extra $9.4 million, the move displeased charter operators and school reformers alike.
With the mayor under the cloud of scandal, and city councilmembers heading to prison, D.C., residents may be wishing for Fenty to come back from political exile and take his old job back. And they may even be rethinking whether they really want their city to be the nation’s 51st state.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?