You can understand just how good an idea school vouchers are by how vehemently the teacher’s unions, the left, and their wholly owned subsidiary the New York Times hate them.
Like many other parents, Governor Mitt Romney would prefer to no longer consign children to a government school based on their zip code. This has rankled the New York Times, prompting the paper to dedicate prime real estate yesterday (following a 10-page screed earlier this month) to demonize school choice once again.
It’s amazing that providing children a lifeline to escape an underperforming or dangerous school should stir such angst on the part of the Times. But yesterday’s attack referred to the word “voucher” as a “fighting word in education.”
The thought of vouchers bothers the Times so much that they obscure the facts about the powerful impact of school choice: “[T]here is limited evidence in the real world of schools improving much as they compete for students, according to education experts.”
In fact, there is a growing body of evidence that school choice improves educational outcomes, all derived from “the real world.”
Lindsey Burke at NRO details some real world success stories of vouchers. My favorite story comes right from the belly of the beast, DC.
A congressionally mandated evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program by Patrick Wolf, which provides vouchers to low-income children in the nation’s capital, produced graduation rates 21 percentage points higher for enrolled students. Students who used a voucher to attend a private school in D.C. had a 91 percent graduation rate; graduation rates in D.C. public schools hover around 55 percent. Nothing is different about these children. It was simply school choice that improved their educational opportunity and attainment.
Vouchers are the future, regardless what the New York Times thinks.