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Liberal Hypocrisy Files: You Can Choose to Where to Abort but not Where to Educate May 8, 2010

My mother could not bring herself to consent her daughter’s education to Chicago Public Schools.  On my first day of school, I sported a nifty chocolate plaid pleated skirt with matching yellow blouse and brown button down sweater.  This was all due mostly in part to the financial generosity of my grandmother.  It was expected that this was the best thing for any child in Chicago’s inner city, to send them to a school where the teachers were good and the influence of the streets were diminished.  It was rare to see a single mother on welfare send her child to a private school but I was the exception.  While African American like me, most of my classmates came from two parent families  in which mom and pop had jobs.  They were bus drivers, postal carriers, retail salesmen, factory workers- they had skills.  Food stamps or welfare checks were never spoke of in front my classmates and my father died in Vietnam.  That is what we told the nuns when I was admitted.  Uniforms were a good front for having few clothes. The nuns hardly let the girls speak to boys as to insure our virginity.

The word of God according to Catholics was taught at least one hour a day.  Religion and morality could be found in everything from arithmetic to why I must share my tater tots with fat, clumsy Theresa who tripped and spilled her lunch tray on the floor.  Yes the nuns engaged in corporal punishment by twisting our cheeks and paddling us with a two by four but we were in the minds of our parents, safe from the failings of Chicago Public School.

Private education is of course a luxury that comes with a price. A price that my mother could no longer afford after my grandmother had a heart attack which lead to her retirement from housekeeping.

In 1981, the feet of young Afrocity touched public school ground for the first time in her eleven year life.  Now granted this was Oak Park, Illinois- a suburban school so it was not considered the true hell that I would later experience in Chicago Public School.   Although young, I knew that my choice to a top notch education was locked.  My mother was poor, hence the quality of my  education would be proportionate to her income.

If there were educational vouchers then, mother and I did not know about them.  I would have loved to be the recipient of one as my grades slid into an abyss once I was enrolled in the Chicago system. The teachers thought we were all lost causes except for myself and several others.  Our reward for being “teacher’s pet”  was a daily dose of ridicule from envious classmates.  High School was somewhat better than junior high as I had tested well enough to attend a “school for the gifted”.   Magnet schools provide a marginal escape for ghetto kids.  Black faces peppered  a sea of Caucasian, Asian and Middle Eastern grammar school superstars; often it was futile to compete for the instructors attention.  If you were African American and ran tops at cross country meets then and only then were you likely to be a teacher’s favorite.   Afrocity disappeared into the sea of faceless kids. CPS student # 1453768235 and so on and so on.   She did not reemerge until graduate school.

I remember the entire experience with sadness and anger.  First through fifth grade in parochial schools, sixth through 12th in public schools.  Truthfully the former was the better of the two halves. Imagine my feelings when I notice this article in the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois House kills school voucher bill

Fervent lobbying by unions sinks idea to give students $3,700 to switch to private or parochial schools

May 5, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — A measure to let students in Chicago’s worst-performing and most-overcrowded elementary schools use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools was defeated in the Illinois House on Wednesday, giving teachers unions a major victory.

The landmark legislation would have made Chicago Public Schools the site of what experts said would be the nation’s largest voucher program. Up to 30,000 of the district’s 400,000 students could have left the weak schools they now attend, setting up competition for public schools.

The legislation got through the Senate in March after being championed by Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, and suburban Republicans. But by Wednesday, teachers unions had regrouped and its supporters found themselves pleading with opponents to overcome a furious lobbying effort to stop the bill.

“Think back to why you ran for office,” said sponsoring Rep. Kevin Joyce, D-Chicago. “Was it for a pension? I doubt it. Was it to protect the leadership of a union? I doubt that. Actually in all cases, I believe each and every one of us here got involved to try and make a difference in the lives of our fellow man.”

Joyce could muster only 48 of the 60 votes needed to pass a bill that would have allowed students to get vouchers worth about $3,700 to switch to private or parochial schools beginning in fall 2011.

Joyce said the bill would have passed if it had not faced the union opposition. The bill got support from 26 Republicans and 22 Democrats, fewer votes than Joyce had expected from his fellow Democrats.

Fighting back tears during the lengthy debate, Rep. Suzanne Bassi, R-Palatine, called on fellow lawmakers to “search your souls” to support the measure because “we have failed these kids in the inner-city schools.”

“I’m pleading with you,” said Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, who represents an area with four public schools where students would have been eligible for vouchers. “I’m begging you. Help me help kids in my district.”

A bit of background here.  Democrats like President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, are notoriously opposed to educational vouchers. Both men hail from Illinois.  This decision to kill the Illinois voucher program is of no surprise to me.  Like most liberal hypocrites, the Obama’s daughters attended not Chicago Public Schools but nice comfy private schools. On the issue, the Democrats never practice at home what they preach to their voters.  Unions and the need to improve  Chicago Public Schools should come second to the welfare of the children.  If a child wants out now, then I feel that the child should be allowed assistance to attend whatever school its parents pleases. What if that voucher is a matter of life and death?  What about Derrion Albert? Remember him? The young boy that was beaten to death in a public school last year. I wonder if his fate would have resulted in a happier and longer life had he not been in a public school ridden with gang violence and drugs?

Here are a few comments from opposing sides of voucher assistance at the Tribune blog:

“Under different economic circumstances, I might support school vouchers for private schools, but during these bleak economic times, public dollars should be spent on public education. Rather than providing school vouchers to a small number of CPS students, however deserving, city and state policymakers should be concerned with providing schools with the funds needed to prevent cutbacks in teaching staff.

Pry more money out of the Obama administration. Raise our taxes if you must. Otherwise prepare to have an even greater proportion of Chicago’s public schools classified as “low-performing.””

Woman in Chicago

Voucher questions

As many as 22,000 or more children who go to the weakest Chicago Public Schools could be getting vouchers to go to private schools (“More kids, more choices,” Editorial, April 28). Why have the staff members at these schools not been fired and replaced with better teachers? Also what part does the parent play in the failure of the student? How will these children get to the new schools? What will happen to the children who stay at the poor-performing schools? Will those schools still be left open and have to be funded?

Yes the voucher program seems nice. But as a taxpayer, a lot of questions still need to be addressed.

Autographed Letter Signed,



Confessions of a Private School Drop Out: Obama and the Voucher Dilemma April 14, 2009

Do America's Children Have a Right to Private Schools?

Do America's Children Have a Right to Private Schools?

No matter what happens to me in America good or bad, I will always love my country and be grateful for the education I received. Despite growing up on welfare, my mother and grandmother were determined not to send me to Chicago Public Schools.

My grandmother, a maid scrapped together enough money to send me to private school through the 6th grade. There were a few times that we were late with the tuition. The principal would stand by my school desk and set a white envelopment in front of me. I did not need to open it. I knew what it said. Either pay up or I don’t come to school the next week. Once I missed an entire month of school due to unpaid tuition. Sooner or later grandmother would save the day by pawning something and back in uniform I was.

During the late 1980’s grandmother became too ill to work. We could no longer afford for pay my tuition.

I went to a public school for the first time and I was terrified.
It turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life.

The teachers looked down on most of the students. They actually liked me more than the other students because I transferred in from a private school and my test scores were better.

Yes I was their golden egg. I won the spelling bees and did everything that they wanted from the other students but could not seem to get.

Every week my home room teacher would proudly announce, “Afrocity got the highest test score”.

I so wished she did not do that.

It meant bullies taking their frustrations out me during lunch, gym, on the way home, or in the bathroom stall.

I no longer had the security of hiding my lack of a fashionable wardrobe behind a uniform. My “flooding” pants from the Salvation Army thrift shop were the subject of locker room jokes. “Girl comb your hair and pull up your gym shoes” they would yell. Or even worse they would hum old Negro spirituals like “Wade in the Water” whenever I walked by.

It makes me shudder even now decades later. I continued to a Chicago Public High School for the “gifted” which was somewhat more bearable. At least there we all had the common goal of wanting to get the hell out.

I adored college and graduate school and have a successful career that I love.

I had put most of the bad public school memories behind me until recently when I heard about the some of the classmates of Sasha and Malia Obama at the Sidwell Friends School. There 1,700 students that would not be able to attend private schools if were not for the $7,500 vouchers they receive.

When Obama was a presidential candidate in 2008, he stated that he supported the vouchers.

Obama Open to Private School Vouchers
By ELIZABETH GREEN, Staff Reporter of the New York Sun | February 15, 2008

Senator Obama said this week that he is open to supporting private school vouchers if research shows they work.

“I will not allow my predispositions to stand in the way of making sure that our kids can learn,” Mr. Obama, who has previously said he opposes vouchers, said in a meeting with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We’re losing several generations of kids, and something has to be done.”

Education analysts said Mr. Obama’s statement is the closest they have ever seen a Democratic presidential candidate come to embracing the idea of vouchers. Vouchers are taxpayer-funded scholarships that allow families to opt out of public school and use their government-allotted education dollars to attend a private school instead. They are despised by teachers unions, powerful players in Democratic politics.

That was February 2008. What happened?

So tell me “Dear Leader” Obama. if you stated during your presidential campaign that you were in favor of voucher programs that are proven to be effective, why did you allow your Secretary of Eduction, Arne Duncan to bury the results of study that said that the voucher program in Washington D.C. was succeeding? Why did you allow the termination of the $7,500 Opportunity Scholarship Vouchers for disadvantaged students in D.C.

Arne Ducnan was Obama’s bud in Chicago by the way. Duncan’s grade school alma mater is the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (you guessed it –a Private School) and he was also the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (cough cough).

Would you like to meet some of the children whose lives will change forever because of this decision?

Meet Sarah and James Parker. They attended Sidwell with your daughters.


Their mother Deborah Parker worries that end of the voucher program would mean that Sarah and James would have to leave Sidwell which would be emotionally unsettling to say the least.

“I once took Sarah to Roosevelt High School to see its metal detectors and security guards,” Ms. Parker says. “I wanted to scare her into appreciation for what she has at Sidwell.” It’s not just safety, either. According to the latest test scores, fewer than half of Roosevelt’s students are proficient in reading or math.”

I also would like you to meet another student who benefited from the D.C. vouchers scholarships. “Mercedes C.” who appeared on the Fox News Glenn Beck Program this March.


On April 14 from a Washington Post editorial this weekend:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools. The abrupt decision — made a week after 200 families had been told that their children were being awarded scholarships for the coming fall — comes despite a new study showing some initial good results for students in the program and before the Senate has had a chance to hold promised hearings. For all the talk about putting children first, it’s clear that the special interests that have long opposed vouchers are getting their way.

Officials who manage the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program sent letters this week to parents notifying them that the scholarships of up to $7,500, were being rescinded because of the decision by the Education Department. Citing the political uncertainty surrounding vouchers, a spokesperson for Mr. Duncan told us that it is not in the best interest of students and their parents to enroll them in a program that may end a year from now.

Thanks to Mr. Duncan, it seems that Sasha and Malia Obama will have no one to share their extra cookies with at lunch.

I certainly hope that these children have a smoother transition into the public school system than I did.

Meanwhile back on Hopey Change Island, President Obama continues to “walk” miracles while BO the White House puppy gets extra cookies leftover from those many school lunches that the Obama girls have no one to share with.

Courtesy of American Thinker.

Courtesy of American Thinker.