Howard Dean: The Battle Between Unions and Charter Schools Is Over

By Joe Williams, DFER Executive Director

We're not entirely sure what he's talking about, but former Gov. Howard Dean this morning, speaking on the subject of public charter schools declared "that battle is coming to an end."

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the one-time presidential hopeful and DNC Chair said "charter schools are the future," especially in inner cities, and praised the United Federation of Teachers in NYC for starting a charter school of their own.

To be sure, charter schools are an important part of the Democratic Party's official education platform (see here), but even in NYC, where the union and its charter school are co-located in a traditional public school building, union leaders and activists continue to spend a lot of time and money trying to whack the bejesus out of their vulnerable charter school competitors.

That Dean believes the longstanding battles between the unions and charter schools is coming to an end is welcome news. Even if we're not sure what is leading him to think this is the case.

Also on the segment, Students First's Michelle Rhee and Washington Teachers Union boss George Parker talked about "Last In, First Out" and the 160,000 teachers who will be laid off nationwide this year in a quality-blind dismissal process.