Needing to one-up their apparent role-model, the Nixon administration, President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan have committed two Friday night massacres instead of Nixon’s one (on Saturday).
First, Duncan chose to release the positive results of the D.C. voucher evaluation late in the day two Fridays ago. He did this despite the fact that “IES stopped releasing reports on Fridays several years ago when an important report just happened to come out on that day and critics accused the agency of trying to bury it.” Clearly, Duncan intended to bury this report so that the positive results would not hamper their plans to kill the D.C. voucher program despite prior commitments to follow the evidence rather than predispositions or ideology.
And on this most recent Friday afternoon Obama and Duncan ordered the organization operating the D.C. voucher program to stop accepting applications for next year. Keep in mind that Congress did not require this action. Congress simply required that the program had to be reauthorized before it could continue. By stopping new applications Obama and Duncan have presupposed the outcome of that reauthorization vote, or as the Washington Post put it, they have “presumed dead” the program. Of course, it is quite likely that Congress will fail to reauthorize the program (following the Obama administration’s wishes), but by presupposing the program’s demise, they make its end a virtual certainty. Even if Congress were to reauthorize there would be no new applicants to put into the program.
Why do Obama and Duncan feel the need to take all of their actions against the D.C. voucher program on Friday afternoons when those actions would receive the least attention? Do they wish to be sneaky political tricksters of the sort they’ve condemned? Why don’t they have the intellectual and political courage to defend their actions against the D.C. voucher program in broad daylight? Shame.
One can only imagine what is coming this Friday afternoon.
(edited for clarity)