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Posts published in “Day: August 14, 2007”

Inside, outside

Derrick Kitts

Derrick Kitts

Intriguing political gossip from Northwest Republican, from whence word of a possible Republican primary for a state House eat being vacated next year by a Republican.

The district is 26, which runs the south/southwest of Portland strip from Wilsonville to Sherwood to Bull Mountain - mostly fast-growing and mostly, though not overwhelmingly, Republican. The departing legislator is Jerry Krummel of Wilsonville, a five-termer whose recent re-elect numbers (in the high 50s, mostly) are enough to suggest that he personally would have been fairly secure, though the district is less than a partisan lock.

Days after Krummel's announcement, activist (and writer for the Cascadia Policy Institute, among others) Matt Wingard said he would run for the seat. The Oregonian blog post noting his announcement wondered, "Could it be a raucous Republican primary?"

Could. This has to do with Derrick Kitts, the former House member from Washington County who in 2006 gave up that seat to run for the U.S. House. (He was mowed under by Democratic Representative David Wu.) Now, Kitts apparently wants back into the Statehouse, but also has observed how most of Washington County has gone Democratic. That includes his old House seat, taken over last year by Democrat David Edwards.

From Northwest Republican today: "I had heard from virtually everyone I talked to that Kitts was bound and determined to move into a safe district in order to resurrect his political career. . . . The best move for Kitts would have been to stay in his old district and run against David Edwards. The guy who replace Kitts after Kitts tried to run for Congress. However it sounds like he was not interested in heading such advice and is bound and determined to carpet bag into another House district that has a Republican lock. That is a bad move and I for one hope he reconsiders."

The blog had earlier written favorably about Wingard, and that probably factored into the equation. The political analysis is sound, though: Kitts might have a better shot trying to rebuild his old campaign efforts than starting from scratch in a new district, against a first-termer who's still less than secure; and Republicans might have a better shot holding Krummel's seat with a clear shot nominee or maybe two newcomers. And no doubt there are Washington County Republicans, looking at how best to play their limited assets, who would rather seem them organized differently than this.

Watch for more on this.

Harbor no more

Acorrespondent brought this to our attention today: Of one sort or another, this is major news in the world of Idaho charter schools, and maybe beyond.

At a special meeting in June, the Board of Directors of the Harbor Educational Institute decided to dissolve the Institute. This will end its work in providing training and support services to schools that have implemented the Harbor School Method, and phase out the operations of the organization over the upcoming months. The decision to dissolve the Institute was based on an assessment that, for many reasons, the Institute’s resources and organizational structure would not be able to continue to properly meet the demands of the growth that it both has experienced and expected to experience. Enclosed is an official notice of dissolution that is provided for by Idaho statute. HEI expects to end operations by the end of November 2007.

The Institute was created to assist schools that wanted to use the Harbor School Method. Responding to a significant demand in a relatively short period of time, it contributed to the successful implementation of the Harbor School Method in ten schools beyond Liberty Charter School, which was the first Harbor school started by the method’s founder Rebecca Stallcop and a core group of teachers. Currently eleven schools, ten charter schools and one non-charter school are using the Harbor School Method . . .

The law authorizing charter schools in Idaho was based on the idea that they would be laboratories of learning, experimental and specialized centers. What has happened instead is that most have adopted one of a handful of what amount to franchised education methods. The 11 Idaho schools, the Habor web site said, are "serving a total of 3,335 students in 2006-2007 in the communities of Boise, Caldwell, Eagle, Idaho Falls, Kuna, Meridian, Nampa, and Pocatello" - they're likely not exaggerating.

What lies behind the developments at Harbor, and what happens next - what the schools will do next - will likely be a story very much worth knowing.