Jenny D. points to a piece in which the writer claims that anti-NCLB folks want federal spending without federal intervention. The problem isn’t just a little "intervention". It all has to do with W and friends wanting all the control at minimal cost.
Right now the federal government provides around 7% of all spending on education in this country. However, under the rules of No Child Left Behind, schools are being coerced into altering the educational programs they have for children in grades 3 – 8 (high school coming soon) to fit the simplistic, all-testing-all-the-time concept at the heart of the law. Under penalty of losing all or part of that federal money.
In my mind there are two roles the federal government could take in American education. They could step up to the plate, create a national curriculum with national standards for all students – and pay the bills. (Please hold the screaming until I’m finished.) Or they could get out of the education business all together, eliminate all education funding, and leave it to the states.
The former is the better concept. We really do need a minimum national curriculum. However, considering that the larger the government-run program, the more inefficient it is, the later plan is the only practical solution. W and the mouths in Congress can keep their bully pulpit and there will still be a need for national laws dealing with anti-discrimination and equal access.
So, maybe it’s time for the feds to take their money – which often doesn’t cover the cost of implementing their rules anyway – and go home. W could then afford to pay for a tax cut for some of us with incomes far below those in his circle of friends.