There was some interest in hearing more about this candidate (from the 46th) and his views on charter schools. This is particularly important because he is one of Stand for Children's candidates and naturally, they generally only fund people who share their views. (They are going after Senator Rosemary McAuliffe of the 1st Legislative district in an aggressive and harsh way.)
The Maple Leaf Community Council had their candidate/issues forum last night.
First up were Sylvester Cann
and Gerry Pollet. Gerry was quite clear from his opening remarks that
he is against charters and particularly why he is against 1240. Cann only spoke generally about education in his
remarks but got asked, right out the gate, what is your stand on
charters? He said:
- it wasn't an easy issue and "his favorite question this campaign)
- "my official position is that I do not support charter schools" and
that he was voting NO on 1240 (but didn't say exactly why)
- he did say there are "good ideas from charters" but we can
accomplish many of the same things in Washington state and that many
things happening in Washington state already look like charters .
What was then interesting is that Gerry Pollet kind of called him out on
it, saying Cann had fudged this position many times.
When Cann was asked again about
charters (people were quite interested in this topic), he said:
"Charters are an idea, and don't represent values."
And then something to the effect of "if we want to create the best model
of charter schools, we can come together and do that."
Clearly, he wanted to hedge but got put on the spot. But, from my No
point of view, he is now on the record.
It was videotaped and here's the link.
Cann are the first speakers. The question of charters comes up about
minute 16 through about minute 22.
I'm not sure what Stand thought they were getting (and hey, the Yes side speaker? Shannon Campion, their Executive Director) but Mr. Cann would be foolish to say that out loud, get elected and then try to backtrack. I think Mr. Pollet was right to wonder out loud about this issue.