Meddling with D.C.? Gingrich did his share
I was astounded that the Nov. 6 editorial "No more meddling" cited former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich's unilateral imposition of charter schools on the District as a "positive" example of Congress's interference in D.C. affairs. I will leave aside the issue of whether charter schools have been good for the city (although the evidence suggests they have not been). But I must take issue with your contention that Mr. Gingrich's move was representative of "Republicans sympathetic to the District's needs."
On the contrary, the Gingrich charter school law was a classic case of Republicans, to quote the editorial, using "the District to score political points on controversial social issues or as a laboratory for pet programs." The District did not go to Mr. Gingrich and ask for charter schools. He acted on his own in an attempt to promote "market" solutions to education problems.
In fact, Mr. Gingrich wanted to impose vouchers on the District, a policy that had been overwhelmingly rejected by voters in previous years. The imposition of charter schools was a compromise that Mr. Gingrich thought would be more likely to pass in the Senate.
Laurent Ross, Washington
| November 8, 2010; 7:32 PM ET
Categories: D.C., D.C. politics, DC Vote, HotTopic
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