Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein endorses school vouchers for low-income D.C. students in a Washington Post column.
According to the most recent census, the District spends $10,852 per student annually — the third highest level of per-pupil spending in the nation — yet test scores lag far behind. In the most recent math and reading assessments administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress:
ï Seventy-six percent of D.C. fourth-graders performed below grade level in math, and only 10 percent read proficiently.
ï Seventy-seven percent of eighth-graders performed below grade level in math, and only 12 percent were proficient in reading.
Based on the substantial amount of money pumped into the schools and the resultant test scores, I do not believe that money alone is going to solve the problem. This is why I believe the District should be allowed to try this pilot — particularly for the sake of its low-income students.
Scrappleface has reported that Feinstein and Republican Sen. Arlen Specter plan to switch party affiliations.