September 19 2009
IWF in the News: Education - 'The Great Equalizer'
A panelist with the Bill Cosby town hall event weighs in on educational choice.The About Our Children town hall featuring Bill Cosby will be broadcast live on MSNBC on Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The event was the idea of the Independent Women's Forum president who will also moderate the meeting, which will focus on education, parenting, and health.
Derrell Bradford is deputy director of Excellent Education for Everyone -- a school-choice advocacy group co-founded by Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker. Bradford will be discussing education at the event. "Every person has to make education a priority -- every child, every parent," he contends. "It is a serious thing, it is the thing, it is the great equalizer, and it is how we will fix much that ails this great nation."
He adds that at the same time leaders cannot tell children to take education seriously and then continue to send them to failing schools. Bradford believes that educational choice is key to success -- and that with choice, children can get a superior education at a fraction of the cost the government is currently spending per child.
"In Newark, [where we have] a billion-dollar school system...we are spending $25,000 per kid...that's elite private school tuition to get 40 percent of our kids who can't pass our high school exit exam, which you can pass with a 50," he points out. Bradford says that type of system is typical of the bloated monopoly the government has on schools -- and until that monopoly can be broken, he argues, true education reform will not be achieved.
Bradford also has harsh words concerning the ordeal involving the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. He says Senator Dick Durban (D-Illinois) has essentially crafted legislation that guarantees the program will disappear. The education advocate contends the Illinois lawmaker is guilty of one of the greatest crimes against poor minorities in DC.
"For congressional Democrats to turn their back on this when, you can't say this any better, President Obama sends his kids to the same schools that kids participating in this program get to go to, and his home state senator votes to destroy this program," he notes. "America needs to take notice of the great betrayal at every level that is taking place here."