Ohio Education Gadfly
Volume 1, Number 40
September 14, 2007
Dann: Right struggle, wrong tactics
By Mike Lafferty ,
There is a right way and many wrong ways to crack down on poorly performing charter schools. This week, Ohio's attorney general decided, unfortunately, that it's better to hold a few hundred children hostage in court than to let established law operate to cure what ails two Dayton-area charter schools (see here). When an attorney general steps outside established law, allowing the end to trump the process, one can only wonder what lies ahead for citizens of the state that elected him.
Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has been so precipitous and his legal reasoning so odd that we wonder whether he is truly focused on the best interests of students in the Colin Powell Leadership Academy and the New Choices Community School. Or is he peering beyond to the 2008 elections? Politics is very nearly the only rationale the attorney general could have in launching his Montgomery County Common Pleas Court suit to shutter these schools-and it's no surprise that his move was instantly hailed by the Ohio Education Association, which released its press release in support of Dann's actions before his office had even announced the lawsuits. Conveniently, the OEA said it would drop its lawsuit against the state, the one alleging that officials have not properly been overseeing charter schools. (Most legal observers thought that suit had no legs anyway.)
If Dann were thinking of education, or for that matter of due process, it would make