Anybody who reads this blog knows I have a big soft spot for the kids in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program — you know, the one axed by the Obama administration. Just type “D.C. voucher” or “D.C. school choice” in the search box on the right sidebar to see what I mean.
So it’s no surprise that I was excited to see some leaders in Congress from both parties have decided to re-visit the issue this year by introducing the SOAR legislation to reauthorize the program. Since that has helped to lift my spirits, I’ve taken more notice of great posts like one from Matthew Tabor titled “One Woman’s Experience with School Vouchers in DC”, which brought my attention to Vivian Butler’s guest Washington Post column.
I’m not going to quote from the mother’s column here, because you really need to read it for yourself. For one thing, yes, it does help to show the tremendous value of promoting school choice through the mouths of families who benefit directly. Additionally, it provides not only an anecdote of one student whose learning has improved from a new private school environment but the column also:
- Speaks to the need to provide valuable education consumer information (a la the fabulous School Choice for Kids website);
- Demonstrates the intrinsic value of empowering parents to choose a school for their children (Doug Tuthill at redefinED has a great thought piece this morning on the very topic, something of benefit to parents and teachers); and
- Shows that sometimes tangible school choice in the form of a voucher also can reap other indirect benefits.
For good or ill, Matthew Tabor is correct:
The Congressmen who voted to kill the DC Scholarship program should be ashamed (though they surely aren’t).