What Vouchers Can And Can't Solve

Sometimes a single act of philanthropy can change the political landscape. Ted Forstmann, chairman of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and founder of the Wall Street investment firm of Forstmann Little & Co., has just offered private vouchers to 40,000 poor kids, and 1.2 million parents throughout America raised their hands--168,000 in New York alone. Over 33% of those eligible applied in Washington, D.C., 26% in Chicago, and 18% in Los Angeles. Given the chance, a vast number of parents expressed deep dissatisfaction with their children's public education and welcomed a choice--even though they would have to match the scholarship money from their own meager incomes. Forstmann, a wealthy 59-year-old graduate of the Phillips Academy, has sparked a galvanizing event in the history of U.S. education.

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