Monday, July 21, 2008

On education, Barack Obama supports the status quo

Over at Reason, there is a top notch article by Steve Chapman on Barack Obama and school vouchers. On this critical issue, one with alot of misconceptions and bad information out there, Barack Obama opposes the best idea on education to come out of either side of the political spectrum in a long time. Vouchers would allow low-income students to get out of terrible public schools and be able to get a decent education at a private school on the public dime. As Steve Chapman notes, this is pretty much applying the way we do things in higher education to elementary and secondary education.

I have yet to hear a coherent and consistent argument against vouchers. I've heard everything from vouchers violating separation of church and state to the program benefitting rich people, an argument that makes zero sense since vouchers are aimed at lower-income students who can't otherwise afford to go to private school. It basically comes down to opposition by teacher's unions whose members fear they wouldn't have a job if competition were allowed into the school system, and members of the political left jumping on to the anti-voucher bandwagon to stop something perceived to be coming from the political right.

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