Politico.com posted about the fight over vouchers in D.C. and about the charter teachers’ rally for “equality” (meaning more charter schools in New York City):

OUTSIZED FIGHT OVER D.C. VOUCHERS : Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner has one swan song that’s guaranteed to be a hit among even his most bitter Republican critics: picking a fight with the president over private school vouchers. The House is expected to pass a bill extending the life of Washington’s school voucher program today, setting up an outsized fight with the White House over a small, $45 million program that allows students from low-income families in the nation’s capital to attend private schools on the taxpayer dime. Maggie Severns has the story: http://politico.pro/1LJCos7.

– School vouchers have united even the angriest factions of the GOP : The day after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race for speaker and the chamber descended deeper into turmoil, some of Boehner’s fiercest critics gathered to wax poetic about vouchers during a markup. Democrats have criticized the program as ineffective and harmful to public schools – and an ironic Republican cause celebre given the GOP’s frequent calls for transferring more power to states.

– The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program allocates funds directly from Congress for D.C. students to use at a private school of their choice. About 6,200 students have used the vouchers over the last 10 years, and the average household income of enrolled students is about $20,575. The fight over Washington’s vouchers, which has raged for more than a decade and even earned a plot line on the television show “The West Wing,” is a proxy for lawmakers debating if – and when – the government should pour resources into helping poor kids escape failing public schools.

– The White House strongly opposes the bill, but didn’t say whether President Obama would veto it: http://politico.pro/1M6O5eu….

– And speaking of school choice: More than 1,500 New York City teachers will rally in Manhattan this afternoon to decry Mayor Bill de Blasio and his policies that ignore “the depth of inequality in the classroom while opposing charter schools – some of the only city schools that have narrowed the achievement gap,” according to the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools. The group and other advocates have held a number of similar rallies over the last year.

Now, here are the nits I have to pick. Paragraph 3 describes vouchers in GOP rhetoric as a way for “the government [to]…pour resources into helping poor kids escape failing schools.” Not a word about the fact that multiple evaluations by a researcher from the Walton-funded Department of Educational Reform at the University of Arkansas has never found any achievement gains in voucher schools in D.C. (or anywhere else) for “poor kids” trying “to escape failing public schools.” The studies show no achievement gains but a higher graduation rate, which may reflect the huge attrition rate of these schools. In Milwaukee, for example, nearly half the students who started in a voucher school left before high school graduation.

D.C., like Milwaukee, now has three publicly funded sector: the shrinking public schools, the charters, and the voucher schools. Milwaukee, having had this tri-part division of public funding for more than 20 years, is one of the nation’s lowest performing school districts on the Urban NAEP. Writers for Politico.com should know this.

In addition, Politico.com refers to a “rally” by 1,500 teachers, without mentioning that they are teachers in charter schools (most of whom will be gone within 2-3 years due to teacher churn in NYC charters) and does not explain who the “Families for Excellent Schools” are. These are not poor black and brown families seeking more charter schools. FES consists of a handful of billiionaires, the same hedge fund managers who raised millions of dollars in a few minutes to attack de Blasio with a barrage of TV commercials in 2014 when he gave Eva Moskowitz only 8 of the 11 new charters she wanted, the same hedge fund managers who gave some $800,000 to Governor Cuomo to turn him into a charter school champion.

Please guys, some in-depth reporting is needed here, as opposed to quoting press releases.