I’ve written about the dangerous move towards McCarthyism Fordham's Mike Petrilli took asking AERA's board to boot former Weather Underground founder William Ayers as an “unrepentant terrorist.” There’s not much difference between that and implying that AEI's Frederick Hess is at best insensitive to issues of race, at worst a racist.

This is one of the few chances the DC City Council will have to do get back in the school reform process without being seen as obstructing change or undermining the Chancellor. No one can argue against the need for independent evaluators free from the least taint of conflicts.

We are deeply disturbed at the Mayor's choice of Frederick Hess and Kenneth Wong as unbiased, independent judges of the city's public school reform.

The history of business turnarounds shows improvements in productivity are necessary. A workforce motivated by fear of loosing their jobs won’t get you there. What’s called for is loyalty to the leadership. This Chancellor is going to have a hard time gaining loyalty from DC’s teachers, and she can’t replace them all.

At the end of May 2008, her takeover formula is obvious: Break the will of institutions within the school system; demolish as much of the old culture as possible, take all the political flack up front; and prepare the ground for a new approach in the 2008-2009 school year.

I favor the application of market principles to public education. I do not support the “better, faster, cheaper” model of district centralization adopted by Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee, the strategy they have employed to put it place, or the Chancellor’s approach to the process.

Today, firms like Blackboard and K12 own the k-12 information turnpike, on and off ramps, filling stations, rest stops, long-haul vehicles, and much of its workforce.When/if the feds own the channel, service and content become king and the fragmentation of market providers inevitable. Prices and profits will fall.

DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, DC City Council, American Enterprise Resident Scholar Frederick Hess, Brown University Professor Kenneth Wong, the Public Education Fund, and those with an interest in objective reviews take note.

I was absolutely stunned to read Petrilli’s post. I was not surprised to see such remarks in the blogosphere, and not necessarily from Mike Petrilli - although I had no idea of his experience or interest in national security or law. I was very surprised to see such a statement from Fordham’s number two.

Petrilli called Ayers a terrorist and suggested a moral shortcoming that AREA should address. Eduwonkette did not answer in kind, but implied that some might question the moral stature of Edwin Meese and Donald Rumsfeld, and ask members of the Hoover Institute to boot them.


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