Maybe Obama didn’t like the negative publicity of today’s voucher rally in DC. Maybe he was tired of being regularly beat up in the pages of the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Whatever it was, administration officials announced today that they will seek to “grandfather” all 1,700 current voucher students in the program until they graduate high school.
On the one hand, this is a victory for the voucher advocates and shows that their efforts have been effective. On the other hand, this is a clever political move for Obama that allows him to kill the DC voucher program without paying the political price of denying low-income kids access to a program that the official evaluation has deemed beneficial. Just because he’s not ripping this opportunity out of the hands of the existing 1,700 students doesn’t mean that he’s not ripping it out of the hands of every future student who could benefit from it.
Grandfathering in the existing students may be humane and politically savvy, but it is also logically incoherent. If the program helps kids then why not let future students into the program so that they could also be helped? If the program doesn’t help kids, why let these 1,700 continue in it? For an administration that prides itself on its commitment to science and doing whatever works regardless of ideology or predisposition, they sure seem like Clintonian political triangulators completely impervious to evidence or common sense.
Besides, even to get the grandfathering we have to move the congressional democrats, led by rocket scientist Dick Durbin (who attended and whose children attended private schools).
(edited for typos)