Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Too Much to Hope For?

To their credit, the Washington Post editors have been championing the cause of D.C. parents and students fighting to keep the highly successful and popular school-voucher program. Unfortunately, as the editors note, “President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have already written the epilogue to this worthy program. Their disregard for how vouchers have helped children is so complete that it seems that the best chance, perhaps the only chance, for the program’s survival is for local officials to step in.” It seems that the 2011 budget allocates $9M for the program but makes clear that this is the “final request.” That may not even be sufficient to allow current participants to complete the program. The editors write:

Indeed, one has to wonder whether the administration is banking on the possibility that students will drop out of the program. What easier way to get rid of this pesky program that’s so despised by the teachers unions and other traditional allies of the Democrats? It’s troubling that an administration that supposedly prides itself on supporting “what works” is so willing to pull the plug on a program that, according to a rigorous scientific study, has proven to be effective.

But the administration has a higher priority, of course — protecting the turf of teachers’ unions. There has been virtually no effort by the supposedly post-ideological, post-partisan Obami to tangle with the Democrats’ most dependable political patron. D.C. school kids stand little chance when organized labor is on the other side. After all, how many phone banks did the D.C. kids man for the Democratic party? Did they give millions to elect a Democratic Congress?

In his State of the Union, Obama proclaimed:

Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away. No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there. No wonder there’s so much disappointment. I campaigned on the promise of change — change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change — or at least, that I can deliver it.

Well, one way to combat all that cynicism would be for the administration, for once, to say “no” to its favorite special-interest group. (In this case, they’d have the high ground by coming to the aid of poor minority kids. It would even chalk up points for bipartisanship, since Republicans overwhelmingly favor the program.) Is that too much change to hope for? Apparently so.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.