Friday, January 11, 2008

Howard Dean knows paint

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

You thought Governor Howard Dean only knew how to turn around a political party and fight for all 50 states instead of only fighting for the easy pickings.

Once a symbol of failure within urban schools, the experiment that is the newly reopened Manual High School got a visit and a helping hand from top members of the Democratic Party on Thursday.

Howard Dean, the party's chairman, and executives and staff with the Democratic National Convention Committee volunteered during the afternoon and painted Classroom 103 an industrial white — not blue — and did arts and crafts with Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps members for Martin Luther King Day.

"Congratulations on doing this," Dean said of the reopening to Denver Superintendent Michael Bennet — from atop a stepladder while painting window trim. "It's a big risk, and I hope it turns out well."

Academics were so poor that Bennet closed the school last year, attracting national attention. The school opened this year for ninth-graders only and will add a grade each year.

Principal Rob Stein said the visit from Dean would give students "an incredible energy boost," but he acknowledged he looked forward to the day Manual no longer is held up as a school in need. - Denver Post