Here’s a palate cleanser for the afternoon, of a sort. Washington Times reporter and blogger Kerry Picket covered a press conference last Thursday in Washington DC, where Mayor Vincent Gray announced his opposition to the restart of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, the school-voucher system that Republicans in the House re-funded after Barack Obama cut the funds in 2009. Kerry asked a couple of extensive questions to Mayor Gray, who disagreed with her premise but appeared perfectly capable of handling tough questions. Unable to handle it was a liberal activist standing behind Kerry, who accused her of hostility and bias while telling her to “drop dead.” Kerry has the longer version with the exchange between herself and Gray on the WT site, but here’s the “bizarre” conversation:
However, as I referenced from a Daily Caller piece in a previous post, Dr. Patrick Wolf was asked by the Congress in 2009 to study the effectiveness of the DC school choice program, and he testified a number of times in front of a Senate Committee panel saying, “We know from this study that participating D.C. students are reading at higher levels as a result of the Opportunity Scholarship Program.” He added, “We are more than 99 percent confident that access to school choice though was the reason why OSP students graduated at these much higher rates.”
Furthermore, while a voucher program never had a chance to be established in Washington, D.C. until 2004 and was last voted down by D.C. residents in 1981, when the program was eventually started around a quarter century later, a 2011 poll conducted by the same company (h/t TWT’s Deb Simmons) that worked for Mayor Gray during his election last year showed that more than 70% of DC residents approved of the school choice program.
In fact, a majority of D.C. City Council members support public views on the voucher program. This includes Chairman Kwame Brown and other members who are not supportive with other measures in the budget deal. These members signed a letter to Congress supporting the re-authorization of the program.
I’d call this a classic case of projection. Kerry isn’t sure who this might be; perhaps a tourist from Madison, Wisconsin?