March 1, 2006

The Chafee Campaign on the Pilot Choice Program

Carroll Andrew Morse

The statement offered by the campaign of Senator Lincoln Chafee on Steve Laffey’s announcement of a proposed pilot school choice program between Cranston and Providence ignores most of the substance that was discussed by Mayor Laffey. If this is truly representative of the Senator’s view, then the Senator has a very narrow view of the objectives of the public education system…

At a press conference today, Mayor Laffey once again demonstrated a disregard for state statutes that clearly outline the proper procedure for dealing with non-resident students….

There is a set process in place to deal with the issues of disenrollment that the Mayor has chosen to ignore. Expedited hearings are available at the State Department of Education, which are routinely used by communities to remedy such matters. It is actually illegal for a school district to disenroll a student without first going through proper channels.

"This behavior is vintage Steve Laffey - shoot first, ask questions later," commented Chafee Campaign Manager Ian Lang. "There are appropriate procedures in place for dealing with these situations, but Mayor Laffey is either ignorant of them or simply doesn't care…
Apparently, the Chafee campaign has no interest in the pilot choice program, nor in the fact that Providence schools are failing, both discussed extensively in Mayor Laffey’s press conference, but not mentioned in the Chafee campaign press release.

If this statement truly represents the Senator’s position on public education, Senator Chafee’s interest in public education apparently ends at making sure that proper procedures are being followed in making sure that students are attending schools in their home districts, even if that means forcing students to go to bad schools when alternatives are available.

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Posted by: Leon Berg at March 1, 2006 4:15 PM

The only time Chafee sets foot in a public school is when he shows up to deliver a big fat pork check and have his picture taken.

Posted by: oz at March 1, 2006 4:39 PM

...or to talk about how animals like Toby the Bear need to be treated with respect and just don't get a fair shake on this planet.

At the college level, Linc at one time made regular appearances defending his vote for Bush Sr and telling our young people that their vote doesn't count anyway.

Posted by: bountyhunter at March 1, 2006 5:02 PM

You sound surprised by Chafee's position. It's entirely normal for a Democrat.

Posted by: Bob Newton at March 1, 2006 6:14 PM

Hey Chafee cares deeply about schools. Don't you remember he wants the NEA endorsement, and when he was mayor he gave the store away to teachers union. The Chafee education plan is simple: you sit down with the teachers union, ask what they want, say yes, and then explain to the public we need to work together for the sake of the children. Conclude with everybody singing kumbaya.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at March 1, 2006 8:32 PM

I thought it worth noting that Senator Lincoln "school choice for rich folks like me, but not for thee" Chafee thinks so highly of RI's public schools, that he sends his kids to the exclusive Wheeler School in Providence.

Laffey sends his to public school in Cranston. Despite Mayor Laffey's often uneasy relationship with his school committee, at least they still manage get the kids educated over there. In some ways, I'm sure they're flattered that so many kids want to come there for a quality eduction.

Posted by: Will at March 1, 2006 9:41 PM

Its staring to sink in. The Chafee team is beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. Their guy isn't on the front lines leading the charge. He's back at the barn shoeing the horses.

And from what I saw of Ian Lang at the Follies last Friday he's shoeing the Klidesdales.

Its only going to get worse.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at March 1, 2006 11:12 PM

Oops, that's Clydesdales.

I think you get my drift.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at March 1, 2006 11:56 PM

I think everyone is missing something on this the Chafee response. Every time there is a response it is always by Ian Lang his Campaign manager. Chafee him self is like the Tin Man and has someone else speak for him. His policies are all run by his Wife. The people that have met her know she runs the show. Still waiting for Chafee to become an independant.

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at March 4, 2006 6:29 AM

...and the lackey has to have a barrel of hard cider first, which shows up in the low level of detail and the high level of inaccuracies and poor logic.

Posted by: bountyhunter at March 4, 2006 8:41 AM