"What Works for the Kids"

>> Monday, April 20, 2009

Playing politics with Hope and Change in the lives of DC school children...


President Barack Obama’s Department of Education sat on a report chronicling the success of a school vouchers program until after Congress had voted not to continue the program.

That’s the report from Deroy Murdock, a media fellow with the Hoover Institution, who exposes the subterfuge in an article published by National Review Online.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program allows 1,714 children-- 90 percent of them black and 9 percent Hispanic --to receive up to $7,500 to attend a private or parochial school instead of a public school in the District of Columbia, which is widely believed to have one of the nation’s most troubled school districts.

Since the program’s launch in 2004, 7,852 students have applied for these grants, and participants have been chosen by lottery.

Obama-- who said last year that "you do what works for the kids" --did not intervene as Congress scheduled the program’s end after the 2009-2010 academic year.

"Now it emerges that Obama's Department of Education possessed peer-reviewed, congressionally mandated, federally financed research proving this program's success," Murdock writes.

"Though it demonstrates 'what works for the kids,' DOE hid this study until Congress squelched these children’s dreams."

An amendment in the Senate to rescue the vouchers program failed on March 10 by a vote of 39 to 58. The DOE finally released the report on April 3. Even then, DOE researchers were reportedly barred from discussing their findings.

"You'd think we were talking about nuclear secrets, not about a taxpayer-funded pilot program," An April 5 editorial in The Wall Street Journal reported.

During the March 10 vote, 57 Democrats voted and 54 of them opposed the vouchers program.

Why? Murdock suggested, "Follow the money," and he pointed out that teachers' unions shelled out $55,794,000 in political donations between 1999 and 2008, with 96 percent of the funds going to Democrats.

The "winners" in the Senate vote, he added, are "the teachers' unions, who hate school choice, hate vouchers, and don’t give a damn about school kids when they threaten union pay, benefits, and control of classrooms."

--NewsMax.com, April 20, 2009


Government education is unconstitutional, but that point is moot... government does RUN education, if poorly. But to say the US government runs education (among other things) is a misnomer; government only mandates education and throws money at it, allowing unions to rake in the cash and run education into the intellectual ground.

Even in their own backyard of Washington DC, liberals can't see their way clear to give the most horridly educated children in America a leg up. They choose instead to hide evidence that school voucher programs work. Their concern is not the education of children, but rather, the selfish whims of unions, and the inevitable donations that keep education in America, and its resultant 18th place out of the 24 richest industrialized nations. The linked CBS article suggest the problem lies in the home, but government still throws money at the unions, and slaps down the homes in DC most in need of a leg up.

In the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, US 15-year olds ranked 16 out 30 nations in average science scores. In Math and Science combined these same 15 year olds trailed 23 other nations. America is the richest nation on the earth and yet we lag 23 other nations in Math and Science? Why? Because of conditions in the home, as the CBS report would like us to believe? Or is it because of the death of the nuclear family in America? Liberal social-engineering? Money thrown at Unions, a chief democrat constituency, rather than families, and students who can't vote?

It's another stunning example of a poorly run government institution. Government, unconstitutionally seized control of education, then allowed unions to manage it. Unions. Entities that are in the business of representing whom? Students? Not hardly. The unions represent "teachers," and by extension their own interests.

Kanye West made the astute observation in the aftermath of Katrina that President Bush didn't care about black people. But under the continuing landfall of another devastating hurricane called Government Education Barack Obama doesn't seem to care much about black people either, let alone what's best for their children.


1 comments:

BenT - the unbeliever,  April 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

You make the assumption that this program was a benefit to the children who received the funds.

I did a bit of further reading and research and here are the highlight findings from the report.

•After 3 years, there was a statistically significant positive impact on reading test
scores, but not math test scores.

•The OSP had a positive impact overall on parents’ reports of school satisfaction
and safety (figures 3 and 4), but not on students’ reports.

•This same pattern of findings holds when the analysis is conducted to determine
the impact of using a scholarship rather than being offered a scholarship.

•The OSP improved reading achievement for 5 of the 10 subgroups examined.

•No achievement impacts were observed for five other subgroups of students,
including those who entered the Program with relative academic disadvantage.

And reading even further we find that the program was an experiment originally only funded for five years. Democrats didn't oppose the program, they simply didn't support extending it.

"On March 3, Americans United sent a letter to every senator, urging them to vote against Ensign’s amendment.

"Senator Ensign’s amendment would open the door to the indefinite funding of the expired D.C. voucher program even though it has been proven ineffective, would harm civil rights and civil liberties, and would strip necessary accountability standards needed to fix identified problems that exist in the current program,” asserted the letter.

AU’s letter notes that reports issued by the U.S. Department of Education in 2007 and 2008 show that the academic achievement of D.C voucher students is no better than that of students attending D.C. public schools.

In addition, a November 2007 report by the General Accounting Office criticized the program, finding that “accountability and internal control were inadequate.”
It's a bit of gall to say that democrats don't care about children. to suggest that teachers, under-paid, under-appreciated, role models as a group have no care or love of their profession. It's that sort of rhetoric that English and Logic and Debate teachers see that encourages them to contribute to Democrats.

Why should they give to a political party that does nothing but insult them?

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