We are pleased to share a recent Washington Post op-ed by a former mayor and former city councilman of Washington, DC. They criticize members of Congress who voted to cut the education voucher program that has been in place in Washington, DC since 2003.
They base their position primarily on the idea that it is unacceptable to force low-income children who do not have access to high-quality education to wait for long-term education reforms. Four aspects of this article make it especially noteworthy. First, it is striking that two prominent political leaders—both of them moderate Democrats and African-Americans—have broken with their party and announced their support for the DC voucher program. Second, they couch their argument in terms of civil rights and liberties for minority students, reframing in liberal terms what has traditionally been a conservative issue. Third, the authors are able to cite empirical evidence that the voucher program “has been an overwhelming success.” Finally, they argue that—given the consistently poor performance of public schools in DC—we need to “find ways to educate every child now, by any means necessary.”