Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama, Democrats stifle DC voucher study

Democrats are historically against School Choice

Obama's education department sat on a voucher study that showed substantial progress while Congress voted to kill the program

Obama, Democrats stifle DC voucher study

Obama stayed silent as Congress scheduled this initiative's demise after the 2009-2010 academic year. Both a Democratic Congress and DC authorities must reauthorize the program -- not likely.

Now it emerges that Obama's Department of Education (DOE) possessed peer-reviewed, Congressionally mandated, research proving this program's success. Though it demonstrates "what works for the kids," DOE hid this study until Congress squelched these children's dreams.

This analysis compared voucher users' test scores to those of students who requested vouchers but lost the award lottery. Among DOE's results:

-- While they were no better at math, voucher recipients read 3.7 months ahead of non-voucher students.

-- Student subgroups - including high achievers, those from functional schools, and applicants between Kindergarten and grade 8 - showed "1/3 to 2 years of additional learning growth."

-- While 63 percent of non-voucher parents gave their kids' schools As or Bs, 74 percent of voucher parents so rated their children's campuses.

This good news remained concealed, from the study's conclusion last fall, through March's Congressional debate, until April 3, when DOE finally released this report. That was a Friday afternoon...

Worse yet, DOE researchers reportedly were forbidden to publicize or discuss their findings.

They sat on the positive results because for political reasons they wanted the program to end. If those reults came out it would be harder to kill it. And why are they so politically motivated against these poor children?

With young black kids themselves begging for vouchers, why would reputedly pro-poor, pro-black Democrats kill this popular and effective school-choice program?

Follow the money: Teachers' unions' paid $55,794,440 in political donations between 1990 and 2008, 96 percent of it to Democrats. Senator John Ensign's (R - Nevada) March 10 amendment to rescue DC's vouchers failed 39-58. Among 57 Democrats voting, 54 (or 95 percent) opposed DC vouchers.

As the late Albert Shanker, former American Federation of Teachers president, once said: "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."

When poor, black school kids start making political donations, Democratic politicians will start fighting for them.

Follow the money indeed...

Jay P Greene's Blog has a lot more.
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