When I hear Mitt Romney’s seductive rhetoric about school choice, I think back to the beginning of Milwaukee’s voucher program — the country’s largest and oldest voucher initiative.
In particular, I remember Nov. 14, 1990. On that day, I learned an important lesson on the difference between rhetoric and reality.
I dropped my two daughters off at day care and began my job at he Milwaukee Journal. The city editor, a gray-haired Irishman who filled every stereotype of the gruff newshound, called me over. I was to do an on-the-scenes report at a private school receiving publicly funded tuition vouchers.
Like most people, I hadn’t given much thought to this new and unique initiative. Vouchers had been promoted as “school choice” for poor black kids, and seemed a worthwhile experiment.