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  • Washington Post: Continue the School Choice Program that Works


    The Washington Post published another excellent editorial highlighting yesterday’s school choice rally in D.C. and the news that the Obama administration now supports allowing students currently in the scholarship program to continue in their provide schools:

    Powerful evidence of the worth of the D.C. school voucher program was on display at yesterday’s rally in support of the program. Hundreds of children, outfitted in the uniforms of the private schools they attend through vouchers, sat in rapt attention as one of their own read a poem he had written: “Surrender me from the typical stereotype of a black young man . . . I am a whole different guy.” It is to President Obama’s credit that he wants to uphold the right of fledging poet Carlos Battle and 1,715 other voucher recipients not to have their educations disrupted. We can’t help but wish, though, that other needy students would get the same opportunity of choice.

    Just as the rally was breaking up in Freedom Plaza, word came that Mr. Obama would seek to extend the program until all participants in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program graduate from high school, although no new students would be admitted…

    This is encouraging news that the Obama administration is waking up to the fact that it would be a disaster to pull children out of schools where they are succeeding and place them back into the low-performing D.C. public school system. But by embracing this compromise, the Obama administration is choosing a contradiction.

    Both President Obama and Secretary Duncan have stated that their education policy priorities will be set by funding programs that “work.” Well, does the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program work or not? A federally-mandated evaluation has found that the scholarship program has boosted reading achievement among participating children—kids in the program the longest have nearly 2 years of reading achievement compared to their peers remained in public school. If everyone can agree that this program is clearly working, shouldn’t more students be allowed to participate?

    Recognizing this contradiction, the Washington Post presses the Obama administration and Congress to keep an open mind when the program is reviewed next week in Congressional hearings:

    The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had already scheduled a hearing next week to evaluate the program. Parents, students and a scientist who have studied the program are among those scheduled to testify. It seems that D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty declined a chance to testify but will submit a statement, a move that is depressingly typical of his lukewarm support for the program. The hearings need to be conducted with an open mind. If indeed this program is shown to work to the benefit of children, it should be continued. And, not — we submit — just for the ones who are lucky enough to be in it now.

    Here are two more pictures from yesterday’s rally:



    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Washington Post: Continue the School Choice Program that Works

    1. Normca says:

      It is only public outcry that changed the mind of the father of kids who can afford to go to a qualified education facility. However he will not go against the NEA as they, like the other worthless unions bought and paid for him, along with George Soros. It is a temporary stay for popularity purposes. These kinds of programs actually educate children and give them a chance at a better life than their parents. The parents of the DC kids recognize this. What a shame here in America that the public schools cannot deliver an education. And the per pupil cost in DC is the highest in the nation.

    2. Maria, NC says:

      Not only is there improved academic achievement, but isn't the

      cost about half? This program should be allowed to expand as fast as the charters and private schools can successfully accommodate the additional kids.

      Costs less, more fulfilling.

      The decision is a no brainer.

    3. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Whatever DC wants, DC gets! How about the rest of the Nation, the real Fifty States! Vouchers for all Students!

      That is not only the best answer to our Education problem of today, it is the only answer!

      Competion brings out the best of the best, in business, bids, sports, and in schools. For far to long our so called Public Education System has been broken by teachers more interested in keeping their benefits and increaacing their pay while lightening their work load, than being Educators of our Future. They have had no competition.

      School vouchers would allow for this stiving to provide the best bang for your buck. The best education for your child for your dollar.

      Do something for America Mr President, even those of a different color.


    4. Diamond, ND says:

      Good to see the kids stand up for what is right! Hope the fight continues for new entrants.

    5. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      This is working and B.O. wants to Dumb down America!

    6. John Clancy, Wyandot says:

      This administration bobs and weaves to quiet opposition, for PR purposes. The long view is to destroy, if possible, all education that might compete with government schools. The elite, then, and this includes the NEA, will decide how children will be educated, not the individual states as the founding fathers envisioned, to say nothing about the local level and parents. The long view is totalitarian and moves our country more and more to the left.

    7. Barb -mn says:

      When it works, Obama destroys! When it's corrupt Obama funds more!

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