"Reality-Based" Education

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 9, 2009

I am so glad that we have an Administration that pays close and careful attention to the facts and to evidence when it comes to formulating and implementing education policy.

Oh, wait:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan argues that we have an obligation to disregard politics to do whatever is “good for the kids.”

Well then, one wonders, why did his Department of Education bury a politically inconvenient study regarding education reform? And why, now that the evidence is public, does the administration continue to ignore it and allow reform to be killed?

When Congress effectively shut down the Washington, D.C., voucher program last month, snatching $7,500 Opportunity Scholarship vouchers from disadvantaged kids, it failed to conduct substantive debate (as is rapidly becoming tradition).

Then The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reported that the Department of Education had buried a study that illustrated unquestionable and pervasive improvement among kids who won vouchers, compared with the kids who didn’t. The Department of Education not only disregarded the report but also issued a gag order on any discussion about it.

Is this what Duncan meant by following the evidence?

Relatedly, Neal McCluskey piles on regarding Duncan’s lack of credibility, gives a great overview of the battle for school choice and offers a way to defeat the education monopoly, which is unified in its opposition to school choice.

The degree of dishonesty and double-speak employed by Duncan and the Department of Education is, quite frankly, revolting. Those who thought that President Obama had selected an Education Secretary open to the possibility of experimenting with school choice should now find themselves thoroughly disillusioned. And I include myself in those ranks.

It takes a special amount of immorality to put the interests of teachers’ unions over those of kids. The Obama Administration has exhibited that immorality for all to see.

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