I get sick to my stomach at the thought that Mayor Fenty could lose the primary in DC and am aghast that ed reformers aren't doing more in this race. The unions certainly understand the stakes, which is why they're doing everything they can to defeat him, because there has been NO HIGHER PROFILE REFORM effort anywhere in the country than what Fenty and Rhee have undertaken in DC. If Fenty loses, it will send a terrible signal to every politician in the country that it's bad politics to embrace radical reform, no matter how horrific the school system is (and DC's was among the very worst).
It would also be a disaster for the long-suffering children and parents in DC, because let's be clear: ALL MEANINGFUL REFORM WILL COME TO A SCREECHING HALT if Fenty loses. How some reformers, especially charter school folks, have been duped into believing otherwise is beyond me – he is NOT going to continue the reforms, but just implement them in a nicer way, as some folks apparently believe. Gray is HORRIBLE on our issue. He HATES charter schools (don't believe his recent protestations to the contrary; he's just saying stuff because he's now running for mayor). Not long ago he stood up at a union rally opposing Rhee's layoff of the worst teachers in DC and called for her to reinstate ALL OF THEM. I hear he's even considering bringing back Cliff Janey as super! (He's available – see below.)
For more on what's really going on in DC, see this web site: http://teachersunionexposed.com/dc/, and this PBS series: http://learningmatters.tv/blog/on-the-newshour/michelle-rhee-in-washington-dc-episode-12-michelle-rhees-impact/5088/#3
So what can you do? 1) If you live in DC, VOTE!; 2) If you have friends in DC, call or email them and ask them to vote for Fenty; and 3) Donate to his campaign at www.fentyreelect.com (I just gave $1,000).