In case you haven't heard, President Obama and the Senate Democrats are going to an awful lot of trouble just to kick two poor under-privileged students (who probably also have tuberculosis or something) out of the Sidwell Friends school that Obama's two darling little daughters are currently attending.
Salon's Alex Koppelman does his best to explain why we should be joining them in happily giving those two students the finger as they cry into their little soot-covered hands on their way out the door…
This argument is based on two students. Two. According to a 2007 Government Accountability Office report — which, by the way, tore the program apart — there are roughly 72,000 students in D.C. public schools. By my calculations, that means these vouchers got only .003 percent of the total public school population into Sidwell Friends. Even if you only consider the number of students currently receiving vouchers, generally pegged at about 1,700, the results aren't much better — only .12 percent of students in the program attend Sidwell Friends.
The truth? As the GAO report found, the voucher program wasn't sending the vast majority of kids to the kinds of schools where they can be in class with the children of presidents. "About 88 percent of all scholarship users attended schools with tuitions below the $7,500 cap," the GAO said. "Although tuition rates varied, only 3 percent attended the most expensive schools that charged $20,000 or more."
So, what he's saying, in essence, is that this voucher program never really worked? Or that it only really worked for a very small fraction of the students in D.C? And that the ones that it worked for the most are the ones who probably didn't need it the most?
I still don't get it. All I know is that two poor, innocent, little kids are getting kicked out of school, and I get to feel good about.
That's all I need to know.
Tags: Barack Obama, Education, Senate, Sidwell Friends, Washington DC