Friday, June 17, 2005

A little mud on a white hat

The Ohio Federation of Teachers released a report today alleging that David Brennan's White Hat Management -- purveyors of academic mediocrity in area charter schools -- have directly benefited from Brennan's generous campaign contributions. The report -- which has been in the works for some time, from what I hear -- is not yet online, so a real analysis will have to wait.

The response from the Brennan camp as reported in the BJ was interesting. First, we have OFT President Tom Mooney:

Mooney said the OFT would not take issue with the expenditures if Brennan's
company were accountable and producing results. The teachers union supports
charter schools that work, he said. ``There are other states where this works a
lot better,'' Mooney said, mostly because those states are more careful in
creating charter schools.

Sound reasonable, and a welcome change from the union's former categorical opposition to charters. Now lets see how former Voinovich education aide and current Brennan flack Tom Needles responds. After noting that the teacher's unions also give money to candidates, he lets loose with the money quote: "Needles said it is sad, but not surprising, that the OFT is trying to divert attention from what he calls the real issue: providing a choice for parents."

So there you are. Any attempt to create actual accountability is simply an attack on choice. Once upon a time the unions said that any attempt to require accountability was an attack on public education. They were roundly and justly criticized for their uncomprimising stand -- often by members of the education choice community.

Now the pigs are living in the farm house and some choices are more equal than others. Sad, indeed.