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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:21 PM

“Elections shouldn’t exist”: The new war on school boards

On Election Day 2012, as voters around the country chose between two presidential candidates who both touted policies that would make it easier to fire teachers, voters in Bridgeport, Conn., rebuffed a referendum backed by Michelle Rhee, Michael Bloomberg and the local Democratic Party. By a seven-point margin, Bridgeport rejected city charter changes that would have ended school board elections. It’s the latest round in Bridgeport’s multi-year battle over a below-the-radar front in America’s reform wars: Who should pick school board members – mayors or voters?

“Nobody thinks that a bunch of hedge fund managers from Greenwich are going to make their schools any better,” said Lindsay Farrell, the executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, one of the groups that spearheaded the opposition effort. “And the right to vote has been a hard-fought right. So people were reluctant to give it up and didn’t trust who they were being asked to give it up to.”

2012 has been a tough year for critics of the bipartisan education reform consensus. In the statehouses, legislators passed bills narrowing teachers’ collective bargaining rights. Big-city mayors and Hollywood celebrities linked arms to tout bills paving the way for a new wave of privately-managed, non-union charter schools. There were bright spots for the left: The Chicago Teachers Union, by building deep ties in the community, offering a left-wing alternative vision for reform and mounting a spirited strike, beat back concessions demanded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But the CTU’s aggressive opposition to the education reform consensus remains a minority approach within the country’s teachers unions – let alone within the Democratic Party.

The current struggle over Bridgeport’s school board stretches back to 2009. That was the year that the Working Families Party, a union-backed third party focused on economic issues, seized three board seats previously held by Republicans. (Bridgeport is an overwhelmingly Democratic city, but by law, no single party can hold more than six of the board’s nine seats.)

more ... http://www.salon.com/2012/12/31/elections_shouldnt_exist_the_new_war_on_school_boards/

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Reply “Elections shouldn’t exist”: The new war on school boards (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 OP
LWolf Jan 2013 #1

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:20 PM

1. I have often been frustrated

with the policies of elected school boards. I've always lived and taught in Republican country.

This, though, is scarier by far.

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