“Washington has proven time and again that it doesn’t know best.” –quote from House Majority Leader McCarthy on passage of HR-5 -ESEA/NCLB reauthorization (Elementary and Secondary Education Act including No Child Left Behind).
I heard this from several congressmen during HR-5 passage. I believe many of them mean it but most of them do not see how what is called “accountability” is the federal government’s hand of control that is in testing and centralized control of data which is driving the system of “accountability”. Most of the Congressmen who fought to get more Local Control …at the same time held on tight to KEEPING “accountability” in federal control. That is the contradiction.
HR-5 has dealt a blow to the huge EXPANSIONS sought by the Obama administration. The Federal Government through the Obama administration has been severely reprimanded and cut off from some of the areas of control they established. That is good for those of us fighting for Local Control. The Senate bill is still in debate and has so much federal control in it that the President has not vowed to veto it as he has the House bill which just passed. We have a major battle still raging in Washington with the Senate bill and then getting both the House and Senate together to pass the same bill after amendments are finished. We have a huge federal education machine that has no constitutional authority and is fed by 65 billion dollars a year. The ESEA/NCLB bill is only about 4% of that total amount.
OUR STATE’S RIGHTS to make decisions about the education system and most importantly PARENT’S RIGHTS to decide for their own child is what we must continue to work for… to uphold and defend. Those principles were spoken by several elected officials in Congress this week. Some did their best to change the ESEA/ NCLB bill they inherited into something that more nearly honors those principles.
The education groups who lobbied for passage of ESEA/NCLB including teachers and administrators who hate the NCLB tied “accountability” testing and teacher evaluations and whose careers are being destroyed by NCLB “accountability” are a big part of the problem in getting the bill changed. These education groups along with the Chambers of Commerce, other business organizations and the Governors who are supporting the NGA -National Governors Association agenda for “workforce development” pushed very hard to keep ESEA/NCLB.
This battle for Public Education comes down to these questions– Who has the right and/or legal authority to control education? … Who designs it?….. To whom are the schools, teachers and administrators accountable? KEEP FIGHTING for LOCAL CONTROL where parents and teachers work together for the best interest of the student and NOT their own personal financial profit from the labor of our children.
This is a moral, political, spiritual and financial battle. No one can go home or to their private school and be safe from interference from those who are demanding to be in control of your child. We must continue our fight from the grassroots of AMERICA to push back this encroaching centralized control system! I am thankful for those Congressmen who did that this week.