A slight convergence
Near Dayton on Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama spoke at some length about public schools and his plans to improve them. Amongst his dozen or so proposals for new federal programs and initiatives, he inserted a call to double funding for charter schools. "Charter schools that are successful will get the support they need to grow; charters that aren't will get shut down," he said. "I want experimentation, but I also want accountability." His opponent, Senator John McCain, has long been a staunch charter-school supporter. This would suggest that, regardless of the election outcome, a charter-school backer will reside in the White House. Those who have heretofore worked tirelessly against such schools seem to have gotten the message, too. After Obama's speech, Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, said, "Those of us in the education community can learn from charter school success stories and failures." We'll see if the happy talk survives post-election, but for now, charter supporters can bask in the glow of bipartisanship.
"Obama, McCain agree on charter schools," Dayton Daily News, September 10, 2008
"Obama Vows to Double Funding for Charter Schools," Associated Press, September 10, 2008