A reader points me to an extraordinary Washington Post editorial, published on March 2. You know the D.C. school-choice program the Democrats are killing? Two of the children who will have to go back to the public schools — with their violence and no learning — presently go to school with the Obamas’ children: at the famous Sidwell Friends. Their mother is Deborah Parker, who told the Post, “The mere thought of [the kids’] returning to public school frightens me.” “Tell her,” says the Post, “that vouchers don’t work, and she’ll list her children’s improved test scores, feeling of safety and improved motivation.” More from the editorial:
But the debate unfolding on Capitol Hill isn’t about facts. It’s about politics and the stranglehold the teachers unions have on the Democratic Party. Why else has so much time and effort gone into trying to kill off what, in the grand scheme of government spending, is a tiny program? Why wouldn’t Congress want to get the results of a carefully calibrated scientific study before pulling the plug on a program that has proved to be enormously popular? Could the real fear be that school vouchers might actually be shown to be effective in leveling the academic playing field?
I will repeat: The problem with school choice — the problem with getting it enacted or kept — is that it involves caring about other people’s children. And that is very, very hard for many people to do.
One more thing: The killing of the D.C. program strikes me as mean — just plain mean. According to all we have been taught, isn’t that supposed to be the Republicans’ role?