The Post editorial board tonight challenges the White House’s assertion that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship has failed to demonstrate progress in raising the achievement of the low-income students who benefit. “The White House has a right to its own opinion, as wrongheaded as we believe it to be,” it begins. “It doesn’t have a right to make up facts.”
But beyond the academic progress the program has made — progress that, as the editorial notes, has been charted rigorously and reported before the Senate — the Post supports the program, above all, for the dignity it provides to families who have felt all but disempowered without it:
There are, we believe, other benefits to a program that expands educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. The program, which provides vouchers of $7,500 to low-income, mainly minority students to attend private schools, is highly regarded by parents, who often feel it allows their children to attend safer schools or ones that strongly promote achievement. Our view has never been that this voucher program is a substitute for public school or public school reform. But while that reform proceeds, scholarships allow a few thousand poor children to escape failing schools and exercise a right that middle-class parents take for granted — the right, and dignity, of choice.