Hiding evidence…again

Patrick Gibbons

*The superintendent of Springfield public schools (from the TV show The Simpsons) is holding Bart Simpson’s test and congratulating Bart for being a genius.

In the Simpsons episode “How the west was won” Bart Simpson is told he’s a “genius” after he “aces” a practice test. In reality, the school administrators were trying to hide bad students like Bart in order for the school to get a passing grade to prove the school actually teaches the children.

While this was just a cartoon on the Fox network, the parody isn’t far from reality. Except in reality, school administrators aren’t hiding evidence of failure, but hiding evidence of success – in particular, the success of a voucher program.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan likely buried evidence that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program improved student achievement while Democrats in Congress voted to all but kill the program. Interestingly enough, Arne Duncan’s kids attend very good public schools … in Arlington, a wealth suburb in northern Virginia.

So while Arne Duncan is wealthy enough to afford a home in an affluent neighborhood near a good school, he makes it difficult for poor children to receive small scholarships to help them afford tuition at a local private school.

Helping the children or serving the teacher union? You decide.