More Vouchers? And, Why The New IES Is Working

I have trouble seeing this new Republican push for vouchers as anything more than base-pleasing gibberish. But hey, in a tight political climate that stuff wins elections! But, if they were really interested in quickly expanding the number of seats in high quality schools available to under-served kids, why wouldn’t they champion a big initiative to leverage the best public charter schools? Less controversial, more impact, big bipartisan potential…

On Ed Secretary Spellings’ contention that the first she even heard of this new NCES report on public and private schools* was in the newspaper, I have a little trouble believing that she hadn’t even caught a whiff of it — she’s pretty plugged in and everyone else knew about it. But, that said, the real story here is that the 2002 reorganization of federal education research is actually working. Like the NAEP charter school data from a few years ago, that the politicals were caught somewhat flatfooted is a good thing and shows that the firewalls are having some effect.

*See also this very sensible NYT editorial board take on the new study.

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