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Voucher Wars: Waging the Legal Battle over School Choice Paperback – February 19, 2003
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From the Inside Flap
"Clint Bolick has written an exciting and fascinating account of his experience as a lawyer defending school choice. In the process, he provides a comprehensive history of the school choice movement from the 1990 enactment of the nation's first urban school program in Wisconsin to the 2002 Supreme Court decision that established the constitutionality of voucher programs including religious schools. Clint makes clear how high the stakes are for the youngsters in low-income families condemned to failing government schools and how much their parents are willing to sacrifice to rescue them. A true human interest tale."
"Clint Bolick is the nation's leading attorney for parental choice and education reform. No one knows this legal battle better than Clint, and his successes are victories for both our education system and our children."
--William J. Bennett, Co-Director, Empower America; Former Secretary of Education
"Clint Bolick is the new Thurgood Marshall. Marshall litigated the end of legal apartheid; Bolick the demolition of educational townships."
--John Gardner, Milwaukee School Board
"Clint Bolick confounds his liberal critics because he is something that is not supposed to exist on the Right: an idealist."
--Nina Easton, Author, Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Clint Bolick, widely considered the nation's foremost legal expert on school vouchers and tax credits, is the vice president and national director of the Institute for Justice. He lives and works in Washington, DC.
Jeff Riggenbach has narrated numerous titles for Blackstone Audio and won an AudioFile Earphones Award. An author, contributing editor, and producer, he has worked in radio in San Francisco for the last thirty years, earning a Golden Mike Award for journalistic excellence.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
To say that poor, inner-city students in Cleveland were not receiving a quality education would be like saying that Michael Jordan is good at basketball. The school district did not meet any of the 18 performance standards set for it, and only one in ten 9th graders could pass a basic proficiency exam. In 1995, three years after I graduated from high school, a federal judge placed the school district in state receivership.
The Ohio state legislature subsequently enacted the Cleveland Scholarship Program to provide scholarships and tutoring assistance to children residing in the Cleveland City School District. The program allows both private and public schools in adjacent districts to accept scholarship students by lottery, with low-income students receiving priority if the number of applicants supercedes the number of scholarships, while participating schools agree not to discriminate on the basic of race, religion, or ethnic background.
In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Cleveland's scholarship program, giving a huge victory to poor students longing for a quality education and poor parents who want them to have a chance at a better future. Attorney Clint Bolick and his outstanding legal team helped to make school choice a legal sanctioned reality.
In "Voucher Wars," Bolick recounts his 12-year roller coaster ride to give disadvantaged schoolchildren a chance at a better future. That struggle began with the nation's first school choice program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1990 and culminated with the 2002 Supreme Court decision in Zelman. He shows how the teachers' unions time and again threw up legal challenges to oppose school choice even though most union members enroll their own children in private schools.
Bolick notes that the Ohio federal court injunction against the Cleveland scholarship program that was overturned by the Supreme Court would have snatched 4,000 scholarship students out of quality charter and magnet schools and placed them back into failing public schools before the 1999-2000 school year began. He calls the teachers' union support for the injunction "a strategic miscalculation of titanic significance."
The High Court's ruling was a big thumb to the eye of school choice opponents - most notably the politically powerful National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. They still seem willing to condemn poor - and mostly minority - children to educational cesspools just to maintain their status quo stranglehold on public education.
While Bolick points out there is still much more to be done, this books tells an emotional and uplifting story of a high-stakes battle that he helped to win. It is an excellent read.