Monday, May 16, 2005

Fishsticks gives Kelley the business 

Craig Westover takes note of the story we covered last week on Senator Steve Kelley's sellout of the working poor's education tax credits to Education Minne$ota.
Kelley's opposition to providing low-income families with educational choice is consistent with his lock-step march with public school administrators and Education Minnesota. Having ousted a strong commissioner of education (Kelley was the prime mover in the non-confirmation of Cheri Yecke), Chairman Kelley is operating with an unchecked arrogance on education policy.

That will have political ramifications. Many people of color who testified in favor of the Hann bill before Kelley's committee were taken aback by Kelly's harsh treatment of testifiers � most of whom were not paid professionals, but concerned parents � and are now likely reconsidering their Democratic sympathies. [Committee Hearing Audio --April 5 Education Committee. Hann bill testimony starts at approximate 3:09 of the hearing. Kelley arrives late due to responsibility at a concurrent committee.]
I hope minority families do consider who better represents their interests. There is certainly hope provided by, for example, the joining of Latino groups with Republicans in Colorado to push for vouchers. But there would need to be a group in Minneapolis that sees Kelley as the minion of the teacher's union that he is. There is hope; sometimes even progressives figure out the problem. But even after Zelman, moves towards anything even remotely resembling vouchers -- which these are not but rather a tuition tax credit -- are fiercely resisted.