Hey, Remember Mayor Nutter’s Big Education Speech at the DNC?
Remember last summer, when the local political world was abuzz over the fact that Mayor Michael Nutter was getting a prime spot at the Democratic National Convention? Remember when Nutter used that time to make fun of Mitt Romney’s record on education? I predicted at the time that particular line of attack might come back to bite him in the ass:
it was astonishing for Mayor Nutter to stand before the nation and give a lecture about the importance of good public schools to Mitt Romney.
“We can’t grow the middle class if we don’t give our kids the tool they need to invent and invest,” Nutter said. “But first we have to invest in them.”
As Bill Clinton said on Wednesday night, in another context: “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.” It also takes some brass to attack a guy for something you can’t get done. That’s exactly what Nutter did.
Well, Janis Chakars remembers. (Paywalled link.) An assistant professor at Gwynedd-Mercy College, Chakars reminded the world of Nutter’s increasingly embarrassing speech in an op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News this week:
Real community-based public education will always be crucial whatever the mix of alternatives. If we don’t find proper and stable funding for these neighborhood pillars, people simply will not want to live in Philadelphia and the city’s revival will fail.
Nutter doesn’t get that. He can give all the speeches he wants, but the buck stops with him. He is the mayor and as such is supposed to “get stuff done.” Alas, five years into his tenure he has not done so on the most fundamental issue in the city.
Meanwhile , the school district’s “doomsday budget” is edging ever closer to reality. When that happens all eyes will on Mayor Nutter again. Is he ready?