Friday, March 18, 2011

Parents Fight for Better Schools, Congress Fights to Keep Kids in Failing Schools

From Kevin P. Chavous, chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options:
"At a hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee to discuss the future of the highly effective D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, there were dozens of African-American and Latino children who came to support the program. The OSP, which provides low-income children with access to private schools, has been remarkably effective at increasing parental satisfaction and student graduation rates. As a result, it has been a lifeline to many D.C. children — 90 percent of whom are African-American and 100 percent of whom are low-income.

But at the hearing, students watched as members of the Congressional Black Caucus simply deferred to D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a longtime opponent of school choice and the OSP, as she railed against the program.

Later, Delegate Norton, in her partisan zeal, obliquely referred to children who participate in the program as “lab rats” of Republicans, and argued that her constituents in D.C. only support the program because they’ll take any “free money” that can be “passed out” to them. It was a shameful and ignorant thing to say, especially considering that four years of parental focus groups on the Opportunity Scholarship Program shattered the myth that low-income parents cannot make informed decisions about where to send their children to school.

The children who attended this hearing were shocked to see their own congressional delegate and members of the Congressional Black Caucus speak against their program. After wards, one of the children even asked, “Why don’t the congressmen who look like us want us to go to better schools?”
Because democrats hate poor, mostly Black school children. It's the only answer. Or perhaps it's simply a matter of political payoff to union cronies.
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