Sunday, May 10, 2009

Obama & the Democrats versus Sweden on vouchers for public schools 

The Democrats have acted to kill Washington DC's school voucher program, and Obama has signed off on the execution -- while sending his own children to private school. Yet, you know...

Liberals and Democrats are very fond of invoking the "Swedish model" when it comes to higher taxes and more welfare spending -- but Sweden has highly privatized all its public services ... and has a 100% voucherized public school system.

Everybody supports it, including the public schools teachers union (!), and it has delivered exactly the results proponents predicted.

Frankly I am always puzzled, even amazed, that advocates of vouchers and school choice here in the U.S. never mention this!

Come on folks, get on the stick! The Swedish example is not only the best hard proof that vouchers actually work in real life across an entire country ... but what better example could you possibly want for rhetorical effect when arguing against knee-jerk liberals than Sweden?

"C'mon, are you telling me that Sweden, Sweden, is too right wing for you liberals and Democrats?"

Sweden also has private accounts in Social Security. So yes, that is exactly what they will be telling you. But make them do it! Make them say it right out loud, and repeat it, so all the reasonable people about who are still undecided on the issue hear them and are appropriately impressed.

UPDATE: A couple of relevant items about the Washington DC program that I just noticed....

The Education Department released its annual evaluation of the D.C. program last month -- tellingly, without a press release or media briefing -- and it showed that voucher recipients are reading nearly a half-grade ahead of their peers who didn't receive a scholarship. These academic benefits are compounding over time. The study revealed that the program's earliest participants are 19 months ahead of public school peers in reading after three years... [WSJ]

Reason to kill! A program that produces such results is a threat! But don't take my word for it...
In a March 6, 2009 letter to Obama, the NEA [teachers union]president Dennis Van Roekel called the D.C. program "an ongoing threat to public education in the District of Columbia" and urged Obama to "use your voice to help eliminate this threat"... [WaPo]
And Obama did.