Joseph C. Phillips

It is said that when Alexander the Great visited the philosopher Diogenes he asked the wise man if there was anything he could do for him. Diogenes is said to have replied, “Yes. Stand a little less between me and the sun.”

I thought of Diogenes as I read portions of the president’s speech from Cleveland, Ohio. The New York Times reports that the president used the word “fight” or some version of it more than 20 times.

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Mr. Obama vowed to fight for jobs; he promised to fight for quality education; he promised to fight for health care; fight for transparency in government. He promised to fight! Fight! Fight! And never stop fighting. "So long as I have some breath in me,” he said, “so long as I have the privilege of serving as your President, I will not stop fighting for you."

Such pronouncements of chivalry no doubt came as a surprise to the parents and children of the opportunity scholarship program.

Also known as the D.C. voucher program, the OSP was started in 2003 as a program to provide children from low income families scholarships of up to $7500 to attend non-public K-12 schools within the district.

During the 2008-2009 school year, there were over 1,715 D.C. OSP students attending 49 non-public schools of their choice. The average annual income for these families is around $23,000.

The program was a bargain. The D.C. public schools spend $14,400 per pupil on average, among the most in the country. More importantly the program was successful. According to an evaluation conducted by the department of education, “After 3 years, there was a statistically significant positive impact on reading test scores…” as well as a “positive impact overall on parents' reports of school satisfaction and safety.”

And yet when this program came under attack from the teachers union, Obama – the people’s champion – was, along with his white horse, missing in action.

Which begs a few questions: Exactly who is the dragon preventing quality education? Job creation? Transparency in government? This just in: Dragon last seen on Pennsylvania Ave. The dragon is big government!

Joseph C. Phillips

Joseph C. Phillips is the author of “He Talk Like A White Boy” available wherever books are sold.