Washington DC has just started its school year, and while the start of a new year brings hope and joy to many school children and their families, the start of this school year is a real downer for 216 kids in DC.
You see, this was the year in which they were to break free from the educational hell hole known as the DC public school system.
What happened? The UFT happened.
Some background: In 2003 The Republican Congress passed and President Bush signed the DC voucher program. The program was for the poorest of the poor and gave 1,700 kids a $7,500 voucher. Immediately, parents took to the program as there were more than 8,000 requests for the vouchers.
Liberals love to say they are the party of the people, however, only 4 Democratic members of Congress voted in favor of a program that poor Americans desperately craved and supported.
How are the kids in the voucher program performing? They're performing great. Reading and math scores are way up when compared with to the DC public schools, and the parents love the schools their kids are attending.
So what's the problem?
First, the program is up for renewal this year. Next, the Democrats have taken over the Congress, the Senate & the Presidency since the voucher program was started. And finally, and this the death knell, the Democrats are a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Federation of Teachers.
The truth is because the Democrats take their marching orders from the UFT, they see the DC kids in the voucher program as Terri Schiavo, and can't wait to pull the plug.
While the kids in the program will be able to stay until they graduate, the 216 kids that were to start this year were sent back to public school because Education Secretary Arne Duncan said it would be too "traumatic" to send them back to public school at the end of the school year.
If it would be too disturbing to send the 216 kids back to public school, why isn't it disturbing to send the kids to the public schools in the first place? Since Obama says in the area of education, he will support anything that works, why is he killing this voucher program that is clearly working?
The truth is, the storm clouds began circling the DC voucher program when Obama was asked his opinion of it during one of the presidential debates.
Obama said he would kill the program because there is not enough vouchers to go around. It's like being on the Titanic and there are 2,000 life preservers and 5,000 passengers. Barrack would not use the 2,000 life preservers cause there were not enough to go around. Sick logic, but its the kind of logic that gets you elected President.
Lets be clear: The UFT has such a monopoly on education in this country, the Parker Brothers are thinking of renaming their board game "UFT".
The UFT is so powerful, you had a better chance in the 1980's of having a "Vegas Night" in Howard Beach without John Gotti's permission that seeing a voucher program flourish nowadays.
The UFT flexes its muscles in other ways too, which results in teachers having more days off than Jose Reyes and school days shorter than Prince.
I have said it before and will say it again: sentencing generations of kids to failing public schools in urban America is morally wrong.
As long as the UFT has unchecked power in this country, kids will continue to suffer.
And this week, there are 216 children in DC paying the price for the power the UFT has over the Democratic Party.