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In 1988, Al Shanker, then president of the American Federation of Teachers, gave a speech that had been inspired by a visit to Germany where he visited a school run by teachers, who were free to experiment with new ideas and stayed with their classes for six years. Shanker talked about his vision of “charter” schools, which used public money to experiment with fresh ideas that could be transferred to public schools and improve education for all. What an opportunity! To establish innovative schools from scratch with enough money to get the job done!
Four experts faced off in a live debate Wednesday night on a range of issues that swirl around charter schools—whether for-profit schools work, what's best for student achievement, and if charters lead to innovation.
But the discussion came down to a simple question: Are charter schools overrated? And the audience's answer was "yes."
I've known David Frum almost since I first came to Washington. A mutual friend of ours once described him thusly: "David is one of the handful of people in this town whose intellect is genuinely intimidating." That appraisal always struck me as pretty much correct.
After all, giving newly inaugurated presidents the opportunity to govern, and show what they can accomplish, is part of America's great democratic tradition. Even former President Barack Obama, no fan of Mr. Trump, urged forbearance in the early going.
“Let him make his decisions,” Mr. Obama said soon after the election.
George Washington University hosted a debate Wednesday night about whether or not President Donald Trump should be given a chance to govern in the Oval Office, and the con-side won a clear victory, at least with the live audience.