Change We Need, Except When, Umm, the Unions Don’t Like It!

Kudos to Clarence Page for hitting President-elect Barack Obama on school choice.

Obama’s daughters are currently enrolled in a private school. The Obamas are likely to send them to one of the more expensive and exclusive private schools in DC. But Obama opposes private school choice programs that would allow parents with smaller incomes and less power to find good schools for their own children.

Page asks Obama, “what about the kids left behind in failing schools?”

Unfortunately, Obama has followed the lead of most other black politicians and decided that the poor black (not to mention white, Hispanic, Asian, etc.) kids left behind can wait for another 5, 10, or 15-year plan to improve the public schools.

It’s a sad political fact that black leaders are as strongly opposed to school choice as black parents are strongly supportive of it.

A 2001 study from the Joint Center Political and Economic Studies found 70 percent of black elected officials oppose vouchers while “in the black population, there was what can accurately be described as overwhelming support for vouchers (approximately 70 percent) in the three youngest age cohorts” under age 51. Support for vouchers in the inner-city can hit 77 percent according to research conducted by Terry Moe.

There is a massive and problematic disconnect on education policy between the average black voter on one side and the Democratic Party and black leaders on the other. It’s nice to see a liberal pundit point this out.