(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Old Illinois hands Durbin, Duncan and Obama loom large in the battle over reauthorization of the DC Opportunity Scholarship program. Today, the Chicago Tribune weighs in an editorial named Do What’s Best for Kids:
Durbin told us he’s “not ruling out supporting this” voucher program. He’ll await further evidence at hearings to be chaired by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.)
Sen. Durbin, Secretary Duncan, the evidence is piling up on your desks. The burden of proof is squarely on you to prove why, after so few years, we should stop—and stop evaluating—a program that is showing certifiable prospects of changing the futures of disadvantaged kids. You gentlemen know the embarrassing truth of what we’ve said previously: Opponents of school vouchers don’t want to snuff the life out of this program because they think it’s failing, but because they fear it’s working.
This is an excellent opportunity for both of you to acknowledge that you’ve been too hasty—and that if vouchers do work, the Obama administration will want to expand them, not quash them. As the now-president put it, we need to do what’s best for kids.