Specifically, the study found that the “Obama effect” can move public opinion polls by 11 to 13 percentage points on issues such as charter schools and merit pay for teachers-in spite of union opposition. Yet when “informed of the President’s opposition to school vouchers,” public support dropped 12 percentage points. The drop was even steeper among Democrats, whose opposition to vouchers increased from 30 percent to 52 percent. While he may be Commander-in-Chief, the president is not Parent-in-Chief. Three out of four D.C. residents support the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program-across party lines-so does a majority of the D.C. City Council. In his first major education address last March, president Obama promised his Administration would follow a “whatever works” strategy for reform. The very next day, he signed into law the legislation killing the successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Whatever positive influence the president is having in other controversial aspects of education policy, the “Obama effect” is not helping hundreds of D.C. students who need it most.
This blog originally appeared on Women’s Independent Forum.