The opacity of hope
We stand corrected. Last week, Gadfly posited that perhaps Barack Obama has an open mind when it comes to school choice. After all, he did tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about that city's voucher program, "If there was any argument for vouchers, it was ‘Alright, let's see if this experiment works' and if it does, then whatever my preconceptions, my attitude is you do what works for the kids." That sentence seems to suggest--actually, it seems to state unequivocally--that if vouchers are shown to help learning, the senator from Illinois would support them. Wrong. His campaign, undoubtedly ruffled that they may lose favor with a certain as-yet-uncommitted-to-any-presidential-candidate teachers' union, sent Education Week a clarifying statement. Obama's words were apparently taken "out of context"; the senator has always opposed vouchers and still does, his campaign says. Words taken out of context? Baloney. One of two things is going on here: Either Obama, in his bid to win Wisconsin, decided to lie to the Journal Sentinel and pretend to support proven-effective voucher programs, or he is actually open-minded but being censored by his campaign. Either way, it's a giant disappointment.
"Obama and Vouchers," New York Sun, February 27, 2008