I'm willing to give Megan McCardle a chance on an issue until she gets unreasonable, and on the subject of vouchers she has become not only unreasonable but insulting and, as I said on an 11D thread, kind of creepy. I've basically written off reading anything she has to say on the vouchers issue, but a series of links to her screeds encouraged me to click just one more time on a follow-up post. And I found this:
How many educated people who:
a) Oppose vouchers
b) Have children who do not attend inner city public schools
would still oppose vouchers if they were the only way to get their child out of an inner city public school? How many of them would accept that their child had to be left in that school because the systemic effects of allowing their child to exit that repulsive school would be dreadful?
Respectfully, I believe the answer is "null set".
Respectfully? Ha. MM hasn't typed a single word on this issue with respect for anyone.
OK, let's start with this: the whole POINT is that the "educated" class will *never* be in a situation where vouchers would be the only way to get kids out of failing inner city public schools. (Note: FAILING. Not all inner city, non-magnet schools are failing, for what it's worth.)
This reminds me of the (badly retold by me) joke about the physicist, the chemist and the economist cast away on a deserted island with nothing else. Starving, they are thrilled when a single can of beans washes up on the shore. They have to figure out a way to open the can, so the physicist says, "If we climb to the top of the tree and throw down the can onto a rock, the force of the fall combined with the opposing force of the solid rock will open the can." The chemist says, "We can use the salinity of the sea water mixed with the sand to create a chemical reaction that will bore a hole through the metal of the can." And the economist says, "OK, let's say we had a can opener...."
Second, I could tell her that yes, under this wildly improbable scenario, I would still oppose vouchers, but she wouldn't believe me. Really. I don't think she would. And we would have no way to test the situation because IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.
Third, were my kids, in this wildly improbably situation, in a failing inner city school, you can bet damned sure that I would do everything in my power to MAKE SURE THE SCHOOL IMPROVED.
For the record, John Edwards, whom I consider to be the foremost advocate of the poor right now among the presidential candidates, opposes vouchers because they would increase the inequities in K12 education.
And all of his kids - rich as Edwards was - went to public schools. In fact, I was Googling to remind myself about Raleigh public schools (I lived there for 3 years), and his two older kids went to Broughton, which is not even as well respected as Enloe.