Jefferson's democracy

Franklin Jefferson's thoughts on the world

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Improving Education

I neglected to mention education.

Is the federal government really the right place to reform our schools? Education needs to be done at the local level-- right at the level of homes and families-- and not by big-government mandate. The "no child left behind" laws, stripped of rhetoric, consist of nothing except new government-mandated standardized tests-- another unfunded mandate from Washington that our states and cities have to pay for. Teaching children how to do well on standardized tests-- is what we want to teach our children? When did conservatism start believing that the government in Washington is the right place to run our schools?

Franklin, Jefferson, and many of the Founding Fathers understood the importance of education as a cornerstone of democracy.

I agree with them. The part I disagree with is that education should be run by Washington, and that making federal-government testing mandatory (but not giving states any money to pay for it) helps education.

If you want to improve education, improve the American family. Education starts with the family.

Mr. Bush claims his "no child left behind" action helps education-- I can't see that it does a single thing to help education, but it removes money from schools (it costs more than the tax money allocated to pay for it), makes children take time away from actually getting educated to take the new mandated tests (didn't they already have enough standardized tests?), and adds even *more* layers of federal paperwork to the educational system. Mr. Bush has harmed the education system in the US, and then brags about how he's reformed education. When the federal paperwork requirement reaches the level of eight hours of time spent doing paperwork per teacher per day, I expect people may begin to think that federal government shouldn't be running schools.


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