Earlier today political activists, such as former D.C. Councilman Kevin Chavous, executive director of DC Parents for School Choice Virginia Walden Ford, Black Alliance for Educational (BAEO) Board Chair Dr. Howard Fuller, BAEO President Gerard Robinson, education reform leader Darrell Allison and the Rev. Anthony Motley, led a rally in front of the U.S. Department of Education, reported Reuters. Their goal was to block the entrance to the U.S. Department of Education in attempts to grasp the attention of President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. They were joined by Councilman Marion Barry and about 50 families and supporters. Obama and Duncan have been blocking the way for low-income families to participate in school choice in the District. One would think that after the countless efforts led by these activists, parents and children, Obama and Duncan would listen.
Chavous, Ford, Fuller, etc. have been fighting for all children in the District but specifically the 216 from low-income families. These families were originally granted school vouchers but had them quickly revoked by Education Secretary Arne Duncan after Congress decided to cancel the D.C Opportunity Scholarship Program which had already helped 1,700 low-income students attend safer and better schools. This program was proven successful for those who had the opportunity to participate in it. It flabbergasts me that still after all the facts, testimonials and support behind the D.C Opportunity Scholarship Program have been laid out on the table, nothing has changed.
Supporters like, former Councilman Kevin Chavous, who clearly will not give up the fight to this cause laid it all out at today’s rally:
“It is fundamentally wrong for this Administration not to listen to the voices of the people of this city when the majority of the Council, the Mayor and the Chairman have all voiced support for this program. When independent studies that were sanctions by this department said this program works. They should keep this program alive.
“I have the audacity of hoping that our President will talk to these families and not just talk to the policy wonks or the union officials or the special interests folks who tell him, you need to do this ‘cause it looks good for your numbers or you need to do this ‘cause it may help you with healthcare. I have the audacity of hoping that if he talks to these people, he will see what we see, that each and every child is entitles to the American dream. That each and every child is entitled to equal access to a high quality education. It is shameful if we give them anything less.”
I don’t think I could of said it better myself. So President Obama and Secretary Duncan, in case you missed the rally or didn’t see it on TV, you might want to take a look at this, because these people will not stop fighting for the children and neither will I. So maybe it is about time you jumped on the bandwagon.