Next, comes an editorial in the Boston Herald:
Paul Reville must resign
By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 –
Is there nothing the Patrick administration won’t politicize?
Now there’s a growing body of evidence that decisions about which communities will get new charter schools has more to do with politics than with the merits of the case – or the needs of the communities involved.
The Gloucester Times has unearthed (through a Freedom of Information request) the latest smoking gun e-mails from state Education Secretary Paul Reville to Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester urging approval of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School.
The Herald’s bottom line:
Reville has shown where his priorities are. Now that his credibility is shot to hell he should do the right thing and resign.
Next, the Statehouse News Service has the lobbying arm for charter schools joining the perfect storm.
The email, first reported by the Gloucester Times, prompted an outcry Monday from a group supporting charter schools and comes at a time when the governor is seeking approval to lift the statewide cap on charter school spending and enrollment. In a statement, Massachusetts Charter Public School Association executive director Marc Kenen said he was “deeply troubled” by the report about the email.
“Political interference – whether by charter opponents or supporters – weakens the integrity of the chartering process and cheapens the hard work and commitment of charter applicants,” he said. “The sanctity of the chartering process must not be sacrificed to further anyone’s political agenda.”
Those of us who have been critical of the process of granting charters, governance, and funding are now singing the same song as the most passionate charter school supporters. Seems it’s clear the present system of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education issuing the charters is seriously flawed.
Mayor Menino has taken a very reasonable approach to charter schools – lift the cap but let the local school committee issue the charter and fund it directly through the local budget. Reform the funding and governance structure, and many folks who oppose the current Massachusetts system could suddenly become supporters.
Perfect storm? It would be if the storm allows us to examine our common interests and come up with a new charter paradigm that will allow good new schools to flourish without the negative impact to the host community.