Rhee Revised

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

Michelle Rhee, the highly praised/beleaguered Chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public school system, is facing another hurdle.

Jon Ray reported on pcblogspot.com that Ms. Rhee’s latest challenge lies in fending off attempts by Congressional Democrats to wind down the vouchers program that provided so much promise to low income kids in the nation’s capital.

In an interview with the New York Times, Rhee said that a key component of her job was to ensure that “all kids get a great education.” While she doesn’t believe that “vouchers are going to solve all the ills of public education, parents who are zoned to schools that are failing kids should have options to do better by their kids.”

Here’s the question:

Why would anyone want to pull the plug on a program that could actually benefit those in need? Especially when a recent study showed that the majority of parents “overwhelmingly preferred the religious and private alternatives they chose in large part because they considered the environments safer than the D.C. public schools.”

One more thing: “Of the children who participate in the program, 90 percent are African-American and 9 percent Hispanic — with less than 1 percent white or Asian.”

Was it the strong prospect of success that caused a negative reaction among the Do-Nothing Dems? Whatever the reason, these stick-in-the-mud legislators have stated they plan to eliminate the Opportunity Scholarships that award more than $7,000 per annum to 1,700 disadvantaged kids. Plus, they told Chancellor Rhee that she’d be wise to “prepare to re-enroll the vouchers kids in public schools.”

Stay tuned. It’s not over yet.


Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.