Say you’re a young man who is all about *crushing* the achievement gap and you just happen to have a cool $20K of daddy’s money to plunk down in order to influence an important local election. But who do you support? Do you go with the first-generation Haitian-American who would be the first minority OR woman to represent a part of Boston still scarred from the busing wars of the 1970′s? Or do you go big and bold, backing the white guy with the Irish name from a powerful South Boston family of the sort that has dominated this part of Massachusetts for decades?
Well that was easy! According to Democrats for Education Reform’s patented endorsement process, which seems to involve googling a candidate’s name together with “charter schools, support for,” there was only one education reform candidate in this race. Here’s a clue: Linda Dorcena Forry never even mentions charter schools and their outstandingess or their excellence on her campaign website. Instead, she only wants to make college more affordable for low-income students and who did that ever help??? Meanwhile, DFER pick Nick Collins is a founding member of the board of local miracle charter, UP Academy, where he is joined by other bold innovators like the VP of Bain Capital, the head of equities for Columbia Management and Michael Kineavy, chief of staff for Mayor Menino.
Alas the DFER kiss and a crew of energetic young business students banking the phones wasn’t enough to propel brother Collins past Dorcena Forry and her support from minorities, immigrants and gays and lesbians, a coalition that political observers say heralds a new day for Boston politics. Which is ironical in the extreme because if there is any organization that has the backs of Boston’s people of color community it’s DFER. In fact, DFER cares so much about voters of color that it recently placed this op-ed in the Bay State Banner, reporting on the results of a DFER “poll” in which support for charter schools among people of color was found to increase as these voters were told more and more great things about how great charter schools are. OK, so the op-ed doesn’t mention that the number one concern of voters was budget cuts in the public schools which are absolutely not related in any way to the expansion of charter schools that is DFER’s sole policy objective.
The white way
The point is, that win or lose, the brothers of DFER (and I’m referring to actual fraternity brothers)
bought it brought it . And while some haters may be relishing the opportunity to point out the group’s almost comical lack of knowledge about Boston, their well-funded quest to remake the public schools they never attended has won them at least one new BFF: hot-for-charters Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh. In this “column,” Lehigh reports on the results of DFER’s “poll” and drools at the prospect of the DFER boyz playing a significant role in the upcoming mayoral contest. But which of our excellence loving candidates will be lucky enough to receive the DFER magic???
Note: the California Democratic Party recently passed a resolution criticizing Democrats for Education Reform as a hedge-funded front for corporate interests and Republicans. Similar efforts are underway in several other states, although Massachusetts isn’t one of them.