Sunday, March 14, 2010

This time will be different: Education Edition

The Obama administration is prepared to turn its attention to education this week. Unfortunately for the nation's students, its approach is anything but innovative. Instead, it perpetuates the system of federal intervention in local schools, and the proposed changes appear to primarily affect the carrots and sticks used.

This was also the approach of George W. Bush. If the results of that effort were less than satisfactory, why should anyone believe this new proposal will be more successful? Apparently because Arne Duncan says so, at least according to the New York Times report:

The No Child law, passed in 2001 by bipartisan majorities, focused the nation’s attention on closing achievement gaps between minorities and whites, but it included many provisions that created what Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Friday called “perverse incentives.”

In an effort to meet the law’s requirements for passing grades, many states began dumbing down standards, and teachers began focusing on test preparation rather than on engaging class work.

“We’ve got to get accountability right this time,” Mr. Duncan told reporters Friday.
I agree that getting accountability right is important to improving education. I'm skeptical that revising the way the federal education bureaucracy distributes tax dollars to school districts is the way to do it.

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

Nothing is so diminutive of educational excellence than Centralized Control.