"I support trying everything we can to help every student we can help. I support vouchers and charter schools because they will help some students get a better education. I also support reforms to improve education in the public school system as a whole." Click here for the full article.
As you observed, this was a position I took 16 years ago. "Trying everything" seemed prudent at a moment when nothing was working that well.
For me, vouchers are off the table. They are a distraction. Moreover, they will clearly divert resources and attention away from public schools at a moment of critical need for both.
For decades, Philadelphia’s public school system has confronted a massive resource gap. Services, programs, staffing and educational supports afforded students in wealthier school districts have often not been available to students who attend Philadelphia public schools. SRC Commissioner Bill Green recently observed, "the fundamental problem with the district is that we can’t get anyone to invest in us, because we can’t get anyone to believe that if they give us the money, we will be successful. That seems to be the number one impediment to resources.” From my perspective, this assessment is absolutely correct.