That was the big scoop the St. Louis Post-Dispatch trumpeted in an article in its Nov. 22 edition. Of course, Turner Report readers knew of Donayle Whitmore-Smith's background nearly four weeks earlier.
The Post-Dispatch article said:
For the past five years, she has headed an effort called School Choice Missouri, a campaign aimed at raising awareness about options such as charter schools, vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. The initiative is funded by the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, an Indiana-based group that advocates for public vouchers.
Governor Blunt's chief of staff Ed Martin told the Post-Dispatch that any thought that Ms. Whitmore-Smith would be anti-public education is ridiculous:
"If we thought that, she wouldn't be on the state board of education, because the governor is committed to public education," Martin said.
It should be noted that before becoming chief of staff Martin was the attorney for All Children Matter, the number one educational voucher proponent in the country. Gov. Blunt was the keynote spokesman at All Children Matter's national convention in Colorado last year and as I noted in a post Sunday, All Children Matter spent $196,252.33 for attack advertising against Blunt's opponent, Claire McCaskill in the 2004 governor's race.
So far the Post-Dispatch article is the only one I can find that follows up on information first noted in the Oct. 26 Turner Report. The following passage was included in that post:
In a February 2005 article in the pro-voucher publication School Reform News, Ms. Whitmore-Smith said that she had attended private schools until high school and her experience at a public school was "hell." Ms. Whitmore-Smith said, "Academically, it just couldn't match what I'd been getting (in private schools)." Ms. Whitmore-Smith was one of the leading proponents of unsuccessful pro-voucher legislation that was considered this year in the General Assembly.
This is the person the governor thinks is qualified to provide leadership for public education?