A New Low for School Choice Opponents

Conn Carroll /

The Washington Post has a fine but saddening editorial today taking Del. Elanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to task for her dishonest efforts to kill 1,900 scholarships for DC children:

[I]t now turns out that Ms. Norton is preparing a plan that could end the program after just one more year. Ms. Norton won’t discuss her plan, and she would, rather disingenuously, have the public believe that she is acting only to ensure an orderly transition of students from a program doomed because of the opposition of others in her party. But, at best, by refusing to support the mayor, she is helping to doom a program that gives poor parents an opportunity that others in this country take for granted: the chance to choose a decent school for their children.

For parents such as Patricia William, that means the probable loss of an educational opportunity that has transformed her 11-year-old son. Ms. William is not alone in her praise of the program and in her panic about the possibility of its demise. … Talk to parents and grandparents of children afforded what should not be the luxury of choice and you’ll hear stories of thanks and success — stories of young women such as Tiffany Dunston, this year’s valedictorian at Archbishop Carroll High School. Ms. Norton turned a deaf ear to these accounts during a recent meeting, dismissing the scholarship families as “befuddled.” Catherine Hill, whose grandson graduated from the Academy for Ideal Education, told us that the only thing the group doesn’t understand is why Ms. Norton “hates a program that works so well.”