For O'Malley and Alonso, Steele's remarks common ground
Things just have a way of working out sometimes. Like the rift between the governor and Dr. Alonso over O'Malley's proposal to change education funding formulas in a way that would have hurt Baltimore. Since the stimulus has saved the day and the formula proposals are history, the rift was already mending. And now Alonso and O'Malley have common ground: their outrage over Michael Steele's comments about Douglass High on CNN. During Alonso's comments at last night's town hall meeting, he said it's important to remember who your friends are. In other words, O'Malley = friend; Steele = not a friend. O'Malley quoted Frederick Douglass himself: "We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed."
It also just so happened to work out that O'Malley, a longtime political opponent of Steele, had already planned to host the town hall meeting at Douglass before the RNC chair made his dig. And, the governor had already recruited Verizon as a partner for the school. The company has furnished a new computer lab and is helping to train teachers to use the technology. Steele had promised the school new computers back when he visited in 2006 but did not deliver.
It's worth noting here, as I did in my story today, that Douglass had a double-digit percentage point increase in its graduation rate last year, one of the biggest gains in the city.