Thursday, November 09, 2006

Election Aftermath: Not D's and R's, but School Board Presidents and Mayors

We're in the aftermath of a sweeping election meant to represent change. In Washington, DC a newly elected mayor has an opponent against his plan for change. Robert C. Bobb, school board president elect of DC Public Schools wants to heighten the power of the school board presidency. Mainly, Bobb opposes Adrian Fenty's plan for a mayoral takeover of the DCPS, the likes of which we've seen in LA and NYC.

WAPO describes Bobb's ambitions. He doesn't want to fill the traditional role of approving policies, he wants to advance his own policies. Bobb claims that he has a plan and Fenty does not.
Some highlights from his plan include:
  • introduce a citywide early learning program aimed at preparing children from birth to age 5 for school;
  • declare a "reading emergency" to deal with the high illiteracy rate;
  • find a way for Superintendent Clifford B. Janey to reduce the 15-year timetable for repairing the schools to 7 to 10 years; and
  • restore confidence in the board by requiring that it conduct more of its business in public.
Fenty's ambitions are lofty. Bobb will have to work quickly if he wants a stake in DCPS decision making. A WAPO story is a good start, but the powers of the office for which Bobb was elected may soon collapse.


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