Thankfully, there is a way to change the system so that power no longer resides with the very people politicians are supposed to be holding accountable. Instead of giving tax dollars to public schools, let parents control the cash. Enable parents to choose schools, and force school employees to respond to them. It’s real reform that’s been shown to work
Unfortunately, in his first one-hundred days Obama failed to fight for just such meaningful reform. The president did nothing to defend Washington DC’s school voucher program, which provides real school choice for 1,700 education-starved kids. Indeed, what his administration did was worse than nothing: it buried a report showing vouchers’ success just as Congress was debating the program’s fate, and barred 200 children who had won vouchers from using them in the coming school year.
“It didn’t make sense to me to put more students in the program,” explained Secretary Duncan.
But here’s what really doesn’t make sense: spending unprecedented billions to save a hopeless system while letting real reform die. Unfortunately, such has been Obama’s first 100 days.
Neal McCluskey is associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and author of the book Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.