September 05, 2003
Fewer children to be left behind
The House of Representatives narrowly approved (205-203) private-school vouchers for poor District of Columbia students today. Who were the 203 that would deny educational opportunities to some of our nation's most disadvantaged children? They include House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi and Seattle Democrat Jim McDermott, with support from Eleanor Holmes Norton:
Norton, the city's nonvoting delegate in Congress, said residents there don't want to be the subject of a national experiment.
That's odd, Milwaukee has been running a vouchers experiment for years, and it's so well regarded that everybody in town wants to expand the program
. Everybody, that is, except for some public school administrators and the teachers' union
. Imagine that.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 05, 2003 04:41 PM
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"Private school vouchers as the cure" still hasn't been established in Wisconsin or elsewhere (checkout the link for an evaluation of Milwaukee's voucher program). Heck, test score improvement from vouchers are often associated with smaller class size and/or "public choice" (i.e., magnet schools in public systems, ex: Harlem). Private school vouchers don't even prove the hoary old argument that competition will make public schools better. Perhaps the parents and community members who clamor for these initiatives, do so because of the hype, not because of the proof?