The Washington Post has an excellent forum today on DC vouchers despite Obama and Duncan’s sincere wish that this issue would go away already. A series of folks were asked to provide their thoughts on the controversy, which contains a lot of material for thought and comment.
But for now I’d like to concentrate on what Sen. Dick Durbin, who led the union’s charge to kill D.C. vouchers, had to say:
“Most problematic, the Education Department’s recent report could not show that voucher students are performing better than their public school counterparts.”
After reading this I had to ask myself — is he stupid or lying? Of course, when it comes to an Illinois pol, like Durbin, one doesn’t have to choose. He could be both.
The Education Department’s report not only could show that voucher students are performing better than their public school counterparts; it did show exactly that. Unless we are parsing what the meaning of the word is… is, Durbin’s statement suggests that he either didn’t understand the report or that he is willfully distorting its findings.
Of course, both could be true.
(edited for typos)
Stupid or lying? It doesn’t really matter since public education depends on public apathy and complacency both of which take a beating when an issue keeps hitting people between the eyes.
For the NEA putting an end to the D.C. voucher program would be a win but it’s the sort of win I think they’d just as soon not have to fight for. The cause of the public education status quo is undermined by exposing it to the light of day and the D.C. voucher fight does so in the worst, possible way: powerful special interests are trying to consign poor, black kids to dangerous, decrepit, ineffective schools. You think Senator Durbin doesn’t understand that? I think he does.
I think he is stupid.
I think he is lying.
What about ignorant? That’s where my money is, which just makes the situation hilarious. What must have been running through his mind when he opened up the Washington Post and realized he was the only one participating in a public forum who was still living in 2008.
Oh wait, see line 1: He must not read the Post, so embarassment averted.
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