This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention: W wants to include private school vouchers as part of the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.
The day after the president’s State of the Union Address, in which he listed the reauthorization of the 5-year-old law as one of his top priorities, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings unveiled a proposal to reauthorize NCLB that would allow students in underperforming schools to earn credit for as much as $4,000 in tuition at private schools. The plan to reauthorize the law also would provide competitive grants for school districts to provide private school vouchers similar to the 3-year-old federal program in the District of Columbia.
As with the Orwellian names created for other pet administration programs (think Healthy Forests Initiative to sell off public lands to loggers), vouchers in this plan become “Promise Scholarships”.
For a law with so much talk about requiring programs to be “research-based”, Ms. Spellings and other voucher supporters have no proof that private schools as a whole do a better job of educating students.
Or that school choice programs improve public education.