It is a point of fascination that even the staunchest advocates of a woman’s unalienable right to abort a fetus bristle at the term pro-abortion. The National Abortion Federation, as a case in point, may be proud of its support of this right, but it is also stubborn in its insistence that it is “pro-choice,” not “pro-abortion.”
A second point of fascination is that the same people who wear the pro-choice label with such pride are anti-choice in other critical areas of life. Take education. Last week was National School Choice Week. The Daily Caller reports that one of the highlights of the annual event was the news that more charter schools opened in 2012 than in any previous year:
Nearly 400 charter schools opened last year, bringing the nationwide total to more than 6,000 schools serving 2.3 million students. This was the largest year-to-year increase in charter school openings in the reform movement’s 20-year history.
Still, 95 percent of all students remain enrolled in public school, and the president is determined to keep it that way. Having established his anti-choice mala fides during the 2008 campaign, Obama took to the war path with a vengeance again during the 2012 contest against Mitt Romney, assailing school vouchers as a misappropriation of public education dollars.
In Obama’s view, the solution to the current crisis in American education is to “invest” more in good teachers and “accountability.” Translation: Throw more taxpayer money down the same rabbit hole and hope for a different outcome this time.
For a man who promised that as president he would “restore science to its rightful place,” he has been anything but receptive to the encouraging research on school choice. In 2010, he directed his energies to shutting down the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helped more than 1,000 inner-city children attend private schools. And he did this in the face of clear indications of parental satisfaction and student achievement.
He has also turned his back on the results of a Harvard University study published in August 2012 that found that college enrollment increased by 24 percent among young blacks who were given vouchers to attend private school.
The reason Obama remains adamant in his opposition to those who are pro-choice about education may have less to do with policy than it does politics. For a fuller explanation, just ask Karen Lewis or his other mutually-back-sratching friends at the Chicago Teachers Union.