President Obama failed to mention the success of Louisiana's school choice program in his address of Hurricane Katrina's anniversary last Thursday.
Although low-income children benefit the most from school choice, Obama conveniently touted their growth after the storm and the increased high school graduation rates without crediting the very thing that helped a struggling New Orleans recover tremendously from a prolific disaster. Of course this fact went mostly unnoticed by the mainstream media.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently penned a CNN Op-Ed about the rewards school choice has brought his state since it's implementation after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans in particular has empowered low-income families and given them the ability to provide their children with better education opportunities. This is a stark contrast from the usual protocol of government provided education for kids that weren't fortunate enough to live in good school districts or come from wealthy families that can afford elite private education.
Jindal goes on to credit impressive turnaround numbers for his state's education system that Obama touched upon but found a way not to specifically praise their source. Making matter worst, President Obama's administration sued Louisiana for a discriminatory scholarship program that included 90% minority students that entered the program voluntarily. Even when conservatives try to uplift minorities with an alternative to big government, unions and bureaucracy interests make sure their punished for it. Its also a clear attack on the autonomy of state citizens.
Other outspoken figures on school choice are Senator Tim Scott who famously owes his success to school choice as well as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin has seen a vast improvement in their education system and Walker defended his state against the Department of Justice's lawsuit for denying special needs kids in an Op-Ed written with Bobby Jindal last year. The struggle for states to decide how they educate their youth continues the narrative of Liberals restricting opportunites with expansive federal solutions such as the No Child Left Behind Act and Common Core.
When conservatives are allowed free range to govern their states with the principals of limited government and individual freedom, those states flourish time and time again. It's a fact that is being denied and purposefully fought against by this administration. Even though the No Child Left Behind Act was reformed, a reliable federalist Republican president should do away with these sort of programs entirely. The fact that the No Child Left Behind Act requires states to provide parents education information on options to parents is troubling. When federal government steps out of the way states will make sure they help parents on their own. The federal governments' chains must be completely broken for innovation to work. You can train a tiger but you can never change it's stripes.
School choice is the future and Louisiana but New Orleans in particular is a shining example of it.
Nibeyu Yegezu is a Political Media intern and a student at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale campus.