Ernie Fletcher, a Republican congressman from Kentucky who’s running for governor, agreed to vote for school choice for D.C. only on the condition that the program be restricted to low-income students from failing schools. He wants “failing schools” to be defined as schools judged to be failing under the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act–which would reduce the number of schools involved from more than 100 to less than 20. (Which tells you something, by the way, about how much “accountability” NCLB brought to the public schools. This is D.C. we’re talking about.)
It’s hard to imagine that the voters of Kentucky would punish Fletcher for giving kids in the District a chance. He’s worried about the NEA attacking him. But getting a robust school-choice program for D.C. ought to be a higher priority for conservatives than a Fletcher win in the Kentucky governor’s race.