Obama's Lopsided Education Policy

The president is guided by ideology rather than evidence.

(Page 2 of 2)

All of this is in line with studies of voucher programs elsewhere. Indeed, a meta-analysis of all the major voucher studies conducted by the Foundation for Educational Choice pointed out that nine out of 10 random-assignment studies—the most rigorous possible—found that vouchers improved reading and math outcomes of voucher kids. (The studies included in the Foundation's sample were conducted by such right-wing hacks as the New York Federal Reserve, Economic Policy Institute, and Department of Education!)

Voucher opponents allege that vouchers hurt public school kids by draining resources. The exact opposite seems to be the case. Indeed, out of 19 studies examining this impact, 18 found that competition by vouchers actually improved education outcomes in public schools too. “Every empirical study conducted in Milwaukee, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Maine and Vermont finds that voucher programs in those places improved public schools,” the Foundation’s analysis concluded.

Vouchers are cheap and effective whereas publicly funded preschool is expensive and ineffective. That’s what the evidence shows. And if President Obama wanted to be true to it rather than indulge his ideological fancy, he would push Universal Vouchers to improve student performance—not Universal Preschool. That might in fact free up public education dollars for more targeted interventions of genuinely at-risk kids while protecting taxpayers from yet another massive, new entitlement.

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  • Sidd Finch||

    In fact, the DOE’s own 2010 study of the D.C. program found that 21 percent more voucher kids graduated than non-voucher kids and had more satisfied parents.

    1) I've seen the graduation improvement for DC OSP range from 12 to 14 percent. It'd be nice if there was a real link there.

    2) The difference between DC public and private schools has to be as big as anywhere in the US. Isn't it strange that there weren't cognitive gains?

  • Adamsmith1776||

    12% or 21%--it is still a gain, and the meta-analysis points to cognitive gains. The only sensible argument I have heard against vouchers is that the public schools would be left with the dregs whose parents are not interested enough to use the vouchers or who are too stupid and troubled to be admitted into a private school. But that puts the public school system ahead of the child, which seems bassackwards.

  • Sidd Finch||

    A meta-analysis of OSP or vouchers everywhere?

  • DarrenM||

    The only sensible argument I have heard against vouchers is that the public schools would be left with the dregs whose parents are not interested enough to use the vouchers or who are too stupid and troubled to be admitted into a private school.

    If this were true, it would mean teachers would be even more able to tailor programs to focus on underachieving students since they wouldn't have so many overachievers to be concerned about. Of course, this is if the goal was to actually teach students and not to get good-looking test scores. Where are the teachers that care more about the welfare of the students than about getting more benefits?

  • Sidd Finch||


    Here's a working link. And of course, I was correct.

    Overall, 82 percent of students offered scholarships received a high school diploma, compared to 70 percent of those who applied but were not offered scholarships. This graduation rate improvement also held for the subgroup of OSP students who came from "schools in need of improvement."

  • Jordan||

    That's a 17% increase.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "hectored Congress to “make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.” “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” he insisted.

    Actually, “study after study” has shown the exact opposite—that publicly funded preschool programs make no lasting difference in a child’s life."

    It's not a lie if the President says it.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah - the "lasting difference" seems to be parent(s) (at last one) who give a shit and read to their kids, make them GO to school, DO the work, etc.

    Preschool? It's just turning into the latest liberal latchkey program. Funded by us, The People, of course.

  • Gadianton||

    Yeah - the "lasting difference" seems to be parent(s) (at last one) who give a shit and read to their kids, make them GO to school, DO the work, etc.

    This. Mrs. Gadianton is a teacher at a publicly funded charter school. Oh. My. Goodness. Every problem child has parents who are either indifferent to their child's education, or actively hostile to anything which will make their special snowflake put forth the effort to do the assignments necessary to get decent grades.

  • mgd||

    I'll second that. I used to be a public school teacher. If I needed to talk to a student's parent, it was a given that I would be unable to contact one.

  • Liberty Reloaded||

    My cousin's wife worked for a time in a school in the African American community. The only time a parent was willing to do anything was when one mother told her after she reported his bad behavior "he's gonna get a beating for this!"

  • ||

    For every kid admitted [to the DC voucher program], there are four applicants trying to escape the violence-ridden school system that has among the highest dropout and lowest graduation rates in the entire country.

    I'll believe that politicians are going to solve the problems in this country, when they can actually solve the problems in their own fucking town.

  • wareagle||

    that politicians actively prevent kids from escaping the worst of school systems is pretty good evidence that solving problems is not on the agenda.

  • DarrenM||

    ...solving problems is not on the agenda

    It depends on how those problems personally affect them.

  • stop telling lies||

    Politicians solve problems? What would they do for a job afterwards? No one in the real world would have them.

  • Liberty Reloaded||

    They are doing well. One word: gentrification. In twenty years they have reduced the black population from 75% to 50%. So much for the "inclusion" crap they keep shoving down the country's mouth.

  • ||

    I think libertarians need to be somewhat reserved in their support for school voucher programs. My mom's a teacher at a private school in Louisiana, and limited anectodal evidence I've seen seems to suggest that the state is using it as a means of getting their grubby little paws on the private schools as well.

    It's unfortunate people can't get through their skulls that true market competition in the education system will drive costs down and increase quality. It's like people can't see how much of our own money we're wasting on crappy public schools. They see it as private tuition costs vs. free, when public schools are by no means free for anybody, and real market competition will bring the costs of private school tuition way down.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You're right about their grubby little paws. Here in Naptown just read an letter to the ed by a guy who put his kid into a charter school 'cause he didn't like the PS curriculum, and a year later because of "core-something-or-other", he got the same damn curriculum!

  • ||

    Exactly. They use the money as a means of justifying controlling the curriculum.

  • Henry the Twooth||

    They already control the curriculum. Do not be ridiculous. You think private schools operate free from the state? They generally have the same educational standards. The difference is in how to achieve those standards.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    "By their very nature, they can’t be scaled up to a national program."

    Really? It's not just a matter of money?

  • Liberty Reloaded||

    Until we accept the truth of racial differences we will always have this crap. Trillions have been spent specifically on poor blacks and the IQ gap is still there, unchanged.


  • DarrenM||

    The problem is treating groups of people defined by race or ethnicity as monolithic. People should be treated as individuals. This crap about 'racial differences' is arbitary and irrelevant. Let smart Blacks/Hispanics/Whites/Asians/etc. all have the same chance to learn without getting held back by foolish restrictions. Let people who don't aspire to doing anything more than working in Burger King have their wish, regardless of whatever their person physical traits happen to be.

  • SpartacusXIII||

    But... but... but... Then not everyone will have their constitutional right to a free college edumication. That's a basic right, exactly what the founding fathers planned on.

  • Henry the Twooth||

    Even if you assume that one group, as a whole, is smarter or better at math or whatever than another group, you are only talking about the theoretical and fictional "average" individual.

    With most attributes like intelligence having a wide range and high variability, it would be difficult to determine if one INDIVIDUAL from one group compared to another individual is smarter or better. In other words, the smartest person in the "stupid" group is probably a LOT smarter than the stupidest person in the "smart" group.

    In other words, the cohorts would overlap (probably by a large amount, say over 90%). In that cause, using stereotypes would have a low success of actually choosing the "better" candidate.

  • stop telling lies||

    Individuals? But individuals don't fit into the boxes. We can't have that!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "President Obama has repeatedly promised ..."

    Indeed he has. What percentage of his promises has he ever kept? The funny thing is, I bet it's less than 50% - his promises are *worse* than a coin flip.

  • ||

    I think George Stephanopoulos said it best:

    "The president has kept all the promises he intended to keep."

  • Kroneborge||

    The purpose of federal education dollars is boost the teachers unions not educate kids.

  • ||

    "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."

  • HellsBells||

    Universal preschool is simply a label for what he is really pressing- federally funded daycare.

  • Wizard4169||

    That, plus indoctrination. Gotta teach them the importance of dependence on the omnipresent, omnibenevolent state while they're young, or who knows what kind of crazy ideas they might get into their precious little heads?

  • Libertarius||

    Let the lefty collectivist brainwashing begin in preschool instead of primary. THE STATE will teach them when to take a nap and how to vote for democrats!

  • Manor45||

    just as Edward said I'm in shock that anyone can make $9973 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this page http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  • Henry the Twooth||

    The best evidence of the efficacy of vouchers is not in capitalist America or DC, but in more socialist Sweden, which has an extremely successful voucher system with an extensive history and analysis.

    The most important result of Sweden's voucher system is NOT that private/charter schools outperform the "regular" public schools (they do in the short run, but not in the long run, as I will explain) - it is that the voucher system has raised the quality of education of ALL schools. When one thinks about this, it makes complete sense as competition is generally good for all consumers, not just the consumer who purchases from a particular supplier.

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  • Godly66||

    If you think Edward`s story is something,, 5 weaks-ago my sister's best friend basically brought home $6795 putting in a sixteen hour week from their apartment and they're best friend's mom`s neighbour has been doing this for 7-months and got a cheque for more than $6795 part time at there labtop. use the information on this web-site... http://www.wow92.com

  • Will Nonya||

    Does anyone think there is a causal link between the state of our government and public education?

  • ||

    Educational standards have to be lowered in order to protect black and Hispanic students from being stigmatized as slow learners. The majority of non-whites will always be intellectually challenged,but these facts cannot be accepted by advocates of a color blind society.

  • Brazen||

    If you think Julie`s story is cool..., last week my cousins step dad got a cheque for $9876 working eighteen hours a week an their house and the're neighbor's aunt`s neighbour has done this for 10-months and recieved a check for over $9876 in their spare time at their labtop. the tips from this address, http://www.wow92.com

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  • BMFPitt||

    “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road,” he insisted.

    Actually, “study after study” has shown the exact opposite—that publicly funded preschool programs make no lasting difference in a child’s life.

    Apparently they didn't do a very good job of teaching opposites in your preschool.

  • lucasw908||

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