School Kids Become Vote-Winners

By Stephen, Andrew | New Statesman (1996), March 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

School Kids Become Vote-Winners


Stephen, Andrew, New Statesman (1996)


Those who doubt two of my leitmotifs in this column -- that this is a decidedly foreign country, and one that is riddled with class prejudice and privilege -- should have been where I was last weekend. In the Wasp inner citadel of Hobe Sound in Florida, spiritual home of George Bush Sr as well as his Boy George, I found myself listening -- I jest not -- to the Yale Whiffenpoofs.

Now, bizarrely unfamiliar though this may sound, the Whiffenpoofs are known intimately in the world of US privileged Waspdom. They consist of a group of 14 Yale male undergraduates who dress up in morning coats, bow ties and white gloves -- and proceed to sing determinedly middle- and lower-brow songs in close a cappella harmonies.

They were on their way back from a tour of Brazil, stopping off because of Yale connections -- Bush Sr was a Yalie -- to entertain us on a hot Florida afternoon in a way that managed to be both socially exclusive and heartbreakingly banal. In the very PC make-up of the 2000 Whiffenpoofs, the one black member said: "I'm from Harlem" -- resulting in a palpable frisson of alarm sweeping among the assembled Wasps.

The last time I reported from there, we left Little Boy Jeb, 45--Boy George's kid brother and Governor of Florida since 1998 -- mulling over Christmas how he could execute more people. Now Florida has switched from its troublesome electric chair to lethal injection, and the two brothers will (as I predicted) soon be engaged in a little light-hearted fraternal battle over who can kill the most in a year.

This time, as Florida is besieged by holidaymakers determinedly enjoying their "spring break", Jeb is wrestling with a problem with major ramifications for the whole country--and one that may well become a flashpoint in the presidential campaign between his brother and Al Gore.

Last year, Jeb initiated the most ambitious "voucher" programme for schools in the country; but a few days ago, a judge -- citing Florida's constitution, which requires the state to maintain a "uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system of free public schools" -- declared the policy to be unconstitutional, saying that "tax dollars may not be used to send the children of this state to private schools". Put briefly, Jeb's "opportunity scholarship program" meant that each of the state's 3,000 schools would be graded each year--and pupils at those awarded an F in two out of four consecutive years would be entitled to a $3,389 voucher. This could then be used by parents to take them away from the bad school and put them into a private or church school.

The idea, first proposed by Milton Friedman in 1955 and alternately embraced since by left and right, took off in the 1990s: from 300 kids in Milwaukee in 1990, there are now 63,840 schoolchildren in 31 states across the country whose education is at least partly funded by vouchers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

School Kids Become Vote-Winners
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.