School Choice & Charters Federal File

Holy War of Words

By Michelle R. Davis — February 28, 2006 2 min read

Advocates of private school vouchers condemned remarks made last week by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who said vouchers could pave the way for a government-funded “School of the Jihad.”

At a Feb. 21 forum before about 100 community and business leaders at the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. in New York City, Sen. Clinton, who is widely seen as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, was asked whether she supported charter schools, said Sharae Brown, the corporation’s public relations manager.

The question evoked a response in which Sen. Clinton said, according to a Feb. 22 story in the Long Island newspaper Newsday, that if a Jewish or Catholic student could get a voucher to a religious school of his or her choice, another parent “comes and says, ‘I want to send my child to the school of the Church of the White Supremacist. … You gave it to a Catholic parent, you gave it to a Jewish parent, under the Constitution, you can’t discriminate against me.’ ”

She reportedly added: “So what if the next parent comes and says, ‘I want to send my child to the School of the Jihad?’ … I won’t stand for it.”

Her office did not return calls for comment by press time last week.

In 2004, she voted against a plan that ultimately was enacted in Congress to launch a pilot voucher program in the District of Columbia.

Clint Bolick, the president of the Phoenix-based Alliance for School Choice and a prominent voucher proponent, called the former first lady a “blazing hypocrite.” He noted that when Sen. Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton, resided at the White House, District of Columbia authorities gave them the choice of sending their daughter, Chelsea, to any public school in the city. They ultimately chose a private school.

“It’s just absurd to characterize other parents’ abilities to make similar choices for their children this way,” he said.

He added that while government voucher programs have been around for years in places such as Cleveland and Milwaukee, “we do not see white-supremacy schools. We do not see jihadist schools. … What we do see is children who never before have gotten a break learning in safe environments chosen by their parents.”

Ms. Brown said the forum attendees didn’t seem to view the voucher remarks as controversial. “There were a lot of different issues discussed,” she said in an interview. “That one didn’t necessarily stand out.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 01, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Are NOLA Charters a Mixed Bag?
To the Editor:
The opinion essay by Douglas N. Harris about how New Orleans’ education reforms post-Katrina are relevant to the COVID-19 era (“As Schools Recover After COVID-19, Look to New Orleans,” Sept. 30, 2020) highlights some basic improvements in the NOLA system but downplays the most significant aspects of those changes: the impact on people of color.
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Home Schooling Is Way Up With COVID-19. Will It Last?
The shift could have lasting effects on both public schools and the home-schooling movement.
10Homeschool IMG
RyanJLane/E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Challenging 3 Common Critiques of School Choice
A new volume from Corey DeAngelis and Neal McCluskey challenges some of the familiar but suspect assertions that pepper public debates about school choice.
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read