Friday, September 02, 2005

Vouchers hit the burbs "For years, school choice seemed stalled on a freeway at the edge of town. Urban voucher programs in Cleveland and Milwaukee were successful. But only the involvement of middle-class suburbs will trigger the market revolution that reformers seek, and the suburbs presented an unassailable front. Statewide ballot measures in favor of vouchers lost big in California and Michigan in 2000. Proposals to expand education tax credits in Minnesota and Arizona died, and Ohio's permanent 'pilot' program remained strictly limited to the City of Cleveland. ... This year school choice got a jumpstart. With Ohio leading the way, reformers are finally taking choice to the suburbs. Governor Bob Taft signed a budget this summer authorizing 14,000 new school vouchers. This more than triples the size of Ohio's voucher student cadre, currently 5,675 Clevelanders in grades K-10. But numbers don't capture the importance of the Ohio legislation. The new program matters because it takes choice statewide."

Hooray for the student right : l "During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan ushered in a new era of American conservatism that few can forget. But I don't remember one thing about it. Honestly, the first president who actually meant anything to me, besides being a fact in a book, was Bill Clinton. Like most of today's college students who were born during the Reagan administration, I grew up with the liberalism of the 1990s. So it only makes sense that those liberal values and ideas are considered 'normal' for most of my generation. Indeed, there was a time when any twentysomething outside the realm of the left was considered an oddity and was ostracized for her political stance, particularly here in the Northeast. Consequently young conservatives tended to hide their opinions and go along, albeit silently, with the liberal stampede of their peers. But with the rightward political tone of the country, many young conservatives finally feel safe to come out of the closet."

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