“The last thing children should have in Washington is for the clock to be turned back on the significant progress that’s been made,” he said.
Mr. Murphy said the D.C. and New York results “could be a call to arms” and demonstrate that politics and education reform are “inextricably linked.”
School reformers and education analysts said the Washington mayoral vote was not the only outcome that could alter the national debate over reform Tuesday night. In New York, several races turned on a battle between union interests and school reformers.
In Harlem/Upper West Side, Brooklyn and Queens, union-backed state Sens. Bill Perkins, Velmanette Montgomery and Shirley Huntley soundly defeated reform-backed opponents.
But two New York state assemblymen - Jonathan Bing of Upper Manhattan and Sam Hoyt of Buffalo - won their races, even though they had bucked education unions on reform issues.
In Baltimore, political newcomer and teacher Bill Ferguson, an aide to city schools chief executive Andres Alonso, unseated a veteran Democratic incumbent, said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform.
Historically, “teachers unions have generally run the table on the Democratic side in elections, and the fact that we’re able to essentially reach a draw in a lot of places … I think it shows tremendous progress,” said Mr. Williams. “It’s no longer just a special interest determining education policy and who gets elected to represent school issues. The issue has been opened up.”
“I think Michelle Rhee unquestionably ended up doing this city a disservice with her habit of spending more time courting a nationwide constituency than on painful block-by-block selling of her message in skeptical communities,” Matt Yglesias wrote in his blog at the liberal site ThinkProgress.org.
“The fact that she packaged this posture up as an ‘I dont do politics’ persona was part of the misguided sales job and not a real reason,” he added.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story has been corrected. Due to an editing error, the original story suggested that the New York State Charter Schools Association had formally endorsed certain candidates. The association in nonpartisan and does not endorse individual candidates or participate in political campaigns.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc