The Obama administration’s stance on the voucher program is transparently political and insulting. President Obama claims he wants to help the poor and improve education, and yet he has aided and abetted Congress in the murder of the only federal education program with evidence of sustained and increasing achievement gains for participants (and at a quarter of the cost).
From Bloomberg today:
A spending law signed by Obama last month will end a program that gives low-income parents tuition vouchers of as much as $7,500 a year to send their children to private schools. Among 54 participating schools are Sidwell Friends, where Sasha and Malia Obama are students, and Ambassador Baptist Church Christian School, where Sherrise Greene sends her two daughters and had wanted to enroll Marquis.
“I had high hopes that he would be attending with a scholarship with his sisters,” Greene said in an interview. “I’m just really hurt that it’s being ended, because I think it’s a good program.”
Ms. Greene should feel hurt. And she should be angry as well. Many of the scholarship parents are meeting tonight to force Congress and the administration to recognize that they are real people who will be hurt by this payoff to the teachers unions. I look forward to their protests.
The most loathsome character in this sordid story, perhaps . . . it’s difficult to choose . . . is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. This self-proclaimed “reformer” had this to say to the parents of this wildly popular and proven program:
Duncan said the Education Department findings don’t warrant a continuation of the voucher program, except for children already enrolled. While some students showed “modest gains” in reading, those who had switched to private schools from “low performing” public schools showed no improvement, he said in an e-mailed statement.
How stupid and insignificant do Duncan and Obama think these parents and children are? The whole affair is disgusting.