They were there to tell these politicians and Mayor Fenty that the program is working for them.
Well, apparently President Obama has accepted the fact that the DC voucher program is working for these kids. The Washington Post reports, “President Obama will seek to extend the controversial D.C. school voucher program until all 1,716 participants have graduated from high school, although no new students will be accepted.”
But the parents and children demonstrating for the program weren’t just there for themselves. They were there to save this program for other children, like the 200 kids that were accepted into the voucher program and then summarily dismissed from it by Secretary of Education Duncan.
Last year during the presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama responded to a question about support for vouchers with his classic “pragmatist” pose; “If there was any argument for vouchers, it was ‘Alright, let’s see if this experiment works.’ and if it does, then whatever my preconceptions, my attitude is you do what works for the kids.”
If it’s working, why end it? Where is President Obama’s policy pragmatism now?
All I see from Obama is an attempt to kill a successful and popular program quietly instead of with screams, to leave no visible bodies on the ground for the press and voters to see.
That’s not pragmatism, that’s craven political expediency. And the scholarship families won’t stand for others being locked out of the chance they were able to seize for their children.
It’s time for President Obama to be honest, be a man, and support this program outright.