Kids come last: What’s best for our unions

Because young black children — whether they are born or not — don’t vote or give big money to candidates or parties, it is perhaps not surprising that President Obama and the Democrats have blocked what was a successful school voucher program in Washington, D.C. Instead they sided with teachers unions that have historically opposed school voucher programs and, more importantly, been big backers of Democrat candidates.

According to Deroy Murdock, in a National Review Online article:

These 1,714 children — 90 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic — enjoy the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. They each receive up to $7,500 for private or parochial schools outside Washington, D.C.’s dismal government-education system. This is especially valuable given that a 2007 federal report discovered that the “average household at the time of application had almost three children supported by an annual income of $17,356.” Since its 2004 launch, 7,852 students have applied for these grants, or more than four children per voucher.

This program’s popularity notwithstanding, Obama stayed silent as Congress scheduled this initiative’s demise after the 2009–2010 academic year. Both a Democratic Congress and D.C. authorities must reauthorize the program — not likely.

Now it emerges that Obama’s Department of Education (DOE) possessed peer-reviewed, congressionally mandated, federally financed 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.

From a Wall Street Journal editorial, we see how that happened:

It’s bad enough that Democrats are killing a program that parents love and is closing the achievement gap between poor minorities and whites. But as scandalous is that the Education Department almost certainly knew the results of this evaluation for months.

Voucher recipients were tested last spring. The scores were analyzed in the late summer and early fall, and in November preliminary results were presented to a team of advisers who work with the Education Department to produce the annual evaluation. Since Education officials are intimately involved in this process, they had to know what was in this evaluation even as Democrats passed (and Mr. Obama signed) language that ends the program after next year.

So, when candidate Obama said as he did last year that he would “not allow my predisposition to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn . . . You do what works for the kids,” he apparently meant “as long as it doesn’t go against what the teachers unions want.” Apparently change only goes so far.

The children in the video below, hopeful for a chance to be heard, have instead had their voices ignored who would rather keep the status quo rather than promote change for the better.

Voices of School Choice