The GOP's Education Dilemma
Here's Ravitch's op ed in the WSJ, appealing to Republicans to help her in her crusade against reform – now THAT'S a desperation move!
Now that Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives, they must take a stand in the battle for control of American education. The issue today is between those who want to federalize education policy and those who want to maintain state and local control of the public schools.
Historically, the GOP has always been the party of local control, and for most of the 20th century Republicans opposed almost every effort by Democrats to expand the power of the federal government over the nation's public classrooms.
In 1965, when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Republicans worried that it was the start of intrusive federal mandates. In time, though, they accepted that there is a legitimate federal role in providing extra funding for needy students, ensuring educational opportunity for children with disabilities, protecting students' civil rights, gathering accurate data, and sponsoring research.
Today, however, the federal government has ballooned into the all-powerful education behemoth that the GOP long feared. Ironically, the trouble started as a result of President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. It has saddled the nation's public schools with a regime of testing and sanctions that is burdensome, harmful and ineffective.
- NOVEMBER 28, 2010, 7:23 P.M. ET