A Wall Street Journal editorial urges President Obama to continue DC's school choice program, which, among other things, has provided the scholarships that allow two of Malia and Sasha's classmates at Sidwell Friends to attend the school. Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation has put up this video with more student voices pleading with Obama to save their scholarships (via Greg Sisk):
I've written before on my feelings on the school vouchers debate, including my discomfort when wealthy White liberals box in students of color into schools they'd never dream of sending their own kids to. At the same time, I remain convinced that school choice is not a solution to the problem -- at best it is a stop gap measure that will help some kids, some times, but will do very little to resolve the bigger issues plaguing inner-city education. There is simply no way that "school choice" will provide a good education for every child, and frankly, it's not designed to. If it is an escape hatch, it is a very narrow one.
Now, I'll be honest -- at this point, I'm willing to support a stop-gap compared to just ignoring the problem. But my fear is that voucher advocates don't recognize that the policy is insufficient to get us where we want to go. Viewing vouchers as a panacea when that is clearly false, voucher advocates don't get broader systematic reform. That's its own problem, and one that worries me significantly.