Posted on April 5th, 2007 in Colorado Politics, Education, General | Written by Ben | No Comments »
Are you a student at a charter school or the parent of one? Or maybe just stuck on one of the long waiting lists to get in? In the past week we’ve learned that the now-ex-chairman of Colorado’s House Education Committee Mike Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) thinks you’re worthy of eternal damnation – Mike Littwin thinks it’s a big joke:
This wasn’t a Deanna Hanna or a Joe Stengel scandal. This was Mike Merrifield writing that backers of vouchers and charter schools deserved a “special place in hell.”
That’s it. It was written on private e-mail, but, apparently, not private enough. Windels’ e-mails went the way of a public records request from a new conservative Web site – facethestate.com – and, when it went public, Merrifield had to apologize for not loving charter schools and then resigned as head of the House Education Committee.
Your blood boiling? I didn’t think so. The most upset person I met was [Senator Sue] Windels, who noted that her friend Merrifield is undergoing chemotherapy.
Maybe Littwin just doesn’t know anyone connected to charter schools – which serve conservative families, liberal families, and everything in between in Colorado. But he’s sure that any anger from the email revelation is all contrived. That’s good old-fashioned liberal compassion for you.
He might have noticed that the rest of the email exchange between Merrifield and Windels (D-Arvada) detailed their plot to effect a “full repeal” of the Charter School Institute, which uses strict but fair, objective standards to authorize charter school requests when parents face recalcitrant opposition from local school boards. Two state lawmakers lead a coalition that wants to take educational choices away from families, and then we learn just how visceral is the hatred that at least one of them has for parental choice. Is it a big deal? Yes.
Meanwhile, the Denver Post reminds us that Representative Merrifield’s “resignation” as committee chair “changes little.” But now you have clear insight into the plans of Democrat leaders and their liberal apologists in the press. Patronize charter school parents, let the brouhaha blow over, and get ready to return to the status quo as soon as possible.
One of Merrifield’s fellow Democrat legislators, who happens to disagree with most in his party on this issue, isn’t feeling the love. According to the Post:
Merrifield wrote that Rep. Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, one of a handful of Democratic advocates for charter schools, “would freak, but who cares.” Carroll said the e-mail made it clear Merrifield “thinks we have a lower class of morality than he does.”
He’s already dismissed the concerns of many Colorado parents, but how long before Littwin notices the growing rift within his own Democrat Party? Don’t hold your breath.
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