School Choice for Me, but Not for Thee

Why am I still so surprised by hypocrisy, esp. w/ regards to this subject?

I’m not one for rallies, but I’d check this out if I could:

Some hypocrisies are apparently more equal than others. If, for example, you are a politician who preaches “traditional values” and you get caught in a hotel with a woman who is not your wife, the press is going to have a field day with your tartuffery.

If, however, you are a pol who piously tells inner-city families that public schools are the answer — and you do this while safely ensconcing your own kids in some private haven — the press corps mostly winks.

Tomorrow afternoon at 1 o’clock in Washington, we’ll learn if anything has changed. Two groups — D.C. Children First and D.C. Parents for School Choice — are holding a rally at Freedom Plaza, just across from the offices of the city government. As their flier explains, “D.C. families deserve the same kind of choices that the Mayor, City Council Members, and Federal leaders with children have.”

The precipitate cause of this rally is the Democrats’ passage of an amendment tucked into the omnibus spending bill. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), the amendment effectively ended the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a lifeline now used by more than 1,700 schoolchildren to escape one of America’s most miserable public school systems. Rally organizers say that the silence from local leaders was a big reason the Democratic Congress felt free to kill off the program.

“This rally is the first step in what is the biggest civil rights issue for this community,” says Kevin P. Chavous, a former D.C. council member who is one of the organizers. “We intend to show that there is huge support for this locally, that this support is growing, and that we’re not going away.”

So this is the biggest civil rights issue for this community, but I wonder where school choice ranks, realistically, for the American community at large? It’s pretty indisputable that if you want success you start at the front end, so if we want a basically educated public–rather than thousands of fabulously degreed folks out of work–isn’t the answer to start w/ pre-primary education, and work our way up?

From ever-prescient WSJ.


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