Education Secretary Margaret Spellings claimed an administration "success" with publicly funded private school vouchers in Washington, D.C. There is no factual basis for her claim. Neither the administration nor Congress has produced a shred of evidence that the D.C. vouchers increase student academic performance (" Opportunity for all children," Opposing view, Education quality debate, Aug. 14).
Astonishingly, despite $56 million, no hearings or studies concerning the academic performance of the voucher students have occurred.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, and I, therefore, have asked for a study by the General Accountability Office. A few weeks ago, Spellings' own Department of Education released a report showing that public schools perform as well or better than private schools in almost every category of academic achievement. Perhaps this is why Congress has been unwilling to enact a national program for public funds for private schools.
Despite the large number of public charter schools in the District, Congress used its plenary power to impose the school vouchers here.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-District of Columbia, U. S. House of Representatives, Washington
Monday, August 28, 2006
Where's the Beef?
DC's own Clara Peller, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D - DC) asks the question "Where's the success?" with the federally funded voucher program.