Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2009 / 29 Adar 5769

Obama's educational hypocrisy

By Nat Hentoff


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We finally have an education president," exults Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.4 million-member American Federation of Teachers. And President Barack Obama has assured the nation's children and parents that his Department of Education "will use only one test when deciding what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars. ... It's not whether an idea is liberal or conservative — but whether it works." Yet this is the president who has remained silent when his congressional Democrats essentially killed the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) in the city where he now lives and works.


Of the 1,700 students, starting in kindergarten, in this private-school voucher program, 90 percent are black and 9 percent are Hispanic. First the House and then the Senate inserted into the $410 billion omnibus spending bill language that will eliminate the $7,500 annual scholarships for these poor children after the next school year. It could only be reauthorized by the same Democrat-controlled Congress and the anti-voucher District of Columbia Council.


Fat chance!


A key executioner in the Senate of the OSP was Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. I have written admiringly of Durbin's concern for human rights abroad and his trenchant criticism of the CIA's rendition-to-torture history. How about education rights in the nation's capital?


Andre J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, supplies the answer. (I am a senior fellow, specializing in civil liberties and education at Cato.) Wrote Coulson in the Feb. 26 New York Post:


"Because they saw it as a threat to their political power, Democrats in Washington appear willing to extinguish the dreams of a few thousand poor kids to protect their political base." Teachers' unions are a vital part of that base, many of whose members fear competition. Not all of them. Randi Weingarten, who is also head of New York's United Federation of Teachers, has started UFT charter schools in that state. But, like Obama, she is silent about stripping these OSP kids of their alternatives. And the largest teachers union, the National Education Association, urged Congress to kill the D.C. program.


Two of these children, Sarah and James Parker, attend Washington's prestigious Sidwell Friends School. At the end of the next school year and the end of their scholarships, among the classmates they'll be leaving are Sasha and Malia Obama — who, of course, do not need voucher money.


As New York Times columnist David Brooks (March 19) notes, the congressional Democrats "even refused to grandfather in the kids already in the (voucher) program, so those children will be ripped away from their mentors and friends. ... Obama has, in fact, been shamefully quiet about this."


Doesn't Obama at least have something to say publicly to those children and their parents — especially when his own secretary of Education, Arne Duncan (enthusiastically appointed by Obama), disagrees with the congressional Democrats shutting down these Opportunity Scholarships?


Said Duncan (New York Post, March 6): "I don't think it make sense to take kids out of a school where they're happy and safe and satisfied and learning. I think those kids need to stay in their school." Even if the program — as is quite certain — is not reauthorized after the next school year, Duncan suggests that donors concerned with education provide financial assistance to those kids through graduations.


Perhaps our education president, from his continuing royalties from the sale of his books, such as "The Audacity of Hope," might help out. I suspect Weingarten would not object.


Says one of the recipients of the Opportunity Scholarships, teenager Carlos Battle (VoicesOfSchoolChoice.org): "If I was in the public school, I'd have to think more about protecting myself than about learning."


As for the Sidwell Friends School, its headmaster, Bruce Stewart, told William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal (reprinted in the March 4 New York Post), that the school has welcomed the OSP students, pointing out that when parents get more educational choices for their children, this benefits not only the kids who are admitted but also the community.


In that New York Post article, "O's dilemma: School kids vs. his fellow Democrats," Virginia Walden-Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, has an excellent suggestion for members of the White House press corps:


"I'd like to see a reporter stand up at one of those nationally televised press conferences and ask President Obama what he thinks about what his own party is doing to keep two innocent kids from attending the same school where he sends his?"


I wish Jay Leno had thought to ask Obama that question.


In a March 2 editorial, the Washington Post, not a conservative newspaper, says the debate about this vanishing opportunity for poor kids "isn't about facts. It's about politics and the stranglehold the teachers unions have on the Democratic Party. Why else has so much time and effort gone into trying to kill off what, in the grand scheme of government spending, is a tiny program?"


If you agree, President Obama, maybe you can help the Opportunity Scholarship Program be reauthorized after the next school year. Why not? The Democrats in Congress may listen to you.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

Nat Hentoff Archives

© 2006, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles