Please read that last bit back to me…
The education chatterers are all a twitter this evening over Sec. Arne Duncan’s “support” for a “continuation” of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Wonk #1: Tee-hee. Is the Obama Administration really going to go up against Congress on D.C. OSP?
Wonk #2: Ooooh. Is Duncan all about the choice now?
Wonk #3: I’ve got 10 bucks on Obama/Duncan. They’ve given everything but the kitchen sink to Pelosi and her Congress. It’s payback time!
Hold on a second everyone. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Read the story again.
Nowhere in Libby Quaid’s piece is a there call for continuation of the scholarship program. Let’s take a look:
Duncan opposes vouchers, he said in an interview with The Associated Press. But he said Washington is a special case, and kids already in private schools on the public dime should be allowed to continue.
“I don’t think it makes sense to take kids out of a school where they’re happy and safe and satisfied and learning,” Duncan told said. “I think those kids need to stay in their school.”
Allowing existing kids to remain in the program is not a continuation of it, merely a longer phase out – a kinder, gentler demise, if you will. In this scenario, when the youngest current OSP scholar has graduated, there will be no more.
There is no silver lining in the words of Sec. Duncan. Unfortunately, even voucher supporters in Congress have been duped:
When asked about Duncan’s remarks, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the education secretary was “exactly right.”
“Senators should listen to him by voting this week to continue funding vouchers for DC schoolchildren,” Alexander said.
Too bad that’s not what Duncan said. It would have been nice if he had…
(Maria Glod and Bill Turque have more HERE from the Washington Post)