In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Us vs Us
Push is about to turn into shove in Detroit where the battle lines between teacher unions and the charter school movement are on a collision course and the allies in this one are unique. Normally you would expect democrats to line up on the side of the Michigan and Detroit Federation of Teachers, which do not want entities outside of Detroit establishing a charter beachhead in Motown. But get this, President Barack Obama (last time anyone checked he was still a democrat), Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the state school superintendent and now the latest recruit, the guy who is running the financial end of the Detroit school system, argue its time to open the urban doors to everyone. Robert Bobb, the emergency fiscal manger, did no bobbing or weaving when asked if he welcomes the challenge of letting non-Detroit charters into the game. In his characteristic blunt manner, he opined, "Let's no be afraid. Let's take'em all on." That "ouch" you hear Is from the leaderships of the MFT and DFT and their friends at the rival teacher's union the Michigan Education Association. The MEA has forcefully suggested that you can't reform an inner city school if you bring in a charter from outside the district. He believes it will not destroy the public schools and, "We should never be afraid to compete…We're not anti-charters." But the unions are and when the two sides butt heads, the resulting shocks waves will either advance the charter movement or set it back and this time, a host of democrats are siding with the GOP hoping it's the former and not the latter.