Upload

Loading icon Loading...

This video is unavailable.

Barack Obama & the DC School Voucher Program

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to like ReasonTV's video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to dislike ReasonTV's video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to add ReasonTV's video to your playlist.

Uploaded on May 4, 2009

"Barack Obama & the DC School Voucher Program: The president says he wants to do 'what's best for kids.' So why won't he save a proven program that helps low-income students?"

Mercedes Campbell is one of the 1,700 students in the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school-voucher program authorized by Congress in 2004. The program gives students up to $7,500 to attend whatever school their parents choose. For kids like Mercedes, who now attends Georgetown Visitation Prep, the DC voucher program is a way out of one of the worst school districts in the country.

"It's different, now that I go to Visitation," says Mercedes. "I approach things differently. It's like a whole new world, basically."

The program is wildly popular with parents and children—there are four applicants for every available slot—and a recent Department of Education study found that participants do significantly better than their public school peers. Indeed, after three years in private schools, students who entered the program at its inception were 19 months ahead in reading of applicants unlucky enough to still be trapped in D.C.'s public schools.

Yet working with congressional Democrats and despite his pledge to put politics and ideology aside in education, the Obama administration has effectively killed the program through a backdoor legislative move. "[Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan will use only one test in what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars," says the president. "It's not whether it's liberal or conservative, but whether it works."

That sort of doublespeak has left many Obama supporters not just puzzled but outraged. Certainly, Mercedes is. "Out of everything else they can shut down or everything else they can advocate for, they want to take this one thing away?" Adds her mother, Ingrid, "We voted for you, we walked, we went to the parade, we stood freezing. Why?...Can you get this tape over to Obama and have him answer our questions? Why, sir, why?"

That's the question that will be asked on Wednesday, May 6, from 1P.M. to 2P.M., at a D.C. rally to reauthorize the voucher program. For more details, go here.

"Barack Obama and the DC School Voucher Program" is approximately 5.30 minutes long and was produced by Dan Hayes and Nick Gillespie.

For iPod and HD versions, related links and materials, and more videos, go to http://reason.tv/video/show/777.html

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

The interactive transcript could not be loaded.

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Ratings have been disabled for this video.
Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.

Loading icon Loading...

Loading...
Working...
to add this to Watch Later

Add to