Focus Point - Stifling Education ReformCommentary by Pete du Pont
May 24, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. There are currently 81 voucher programs operating in the United States. Four are education vouchers like Pell grants, which students can use at any school.
But when George W. Bush tried to add another, for low-income students in failing schools, you'd have thought he attacked motherhood. The liberal left and the education bureaucracy trashed the plan, saying it would be bad for kids "left behind."
Unfortunately, they're winning. The central element of President Bush's education plan, vouchers, has been eliminated by congress; another, testing, was gutted.
I think Bush should deem this unacceptable. Without vouchers and testing, there's no real reform. We'll only waste more money, and more time. The senate bill lets schools fudge testing and holds no one to a standard. And no amount of money will help third world schools in which children are imprisoned. The only cure is the children's ability to leave and take their business.
This is a fight worth refighting, and I hope the president does it.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, cutting capital gains taxes.