John Seery over at the PuffingTons Host has a post where he blasts Margaret Spellings, the Secretary of Education, and her commission on “reforming” higher education. John’s in Higher Ed, a professor of political science, over at Pomona College, an outstanding liberal arts institute.
To summarize his post, where he completely misses the real problem, is that the Federal Gov’t should stay the hell out of higher education. I happen to agree.
John’s anger is delayed. It could have been seen that the architect of No Child Left Behind would eventually get to the No College Student Left Behind. Of course, this entire issue is an result of higher college costs, shifting demographics, and the gradual degredation of the college system here in the United States. John’s anger is directed at Mrs. Spellings. Instead, it should be directed at Jimmy Carter who helped establish the Department of Education, a bureaucratic behemoth that has grown out of control since its inception.
He also points the finger, naturally, at Bush, for No Child Left Behind, regardless of the fact that Teddy Kennedy was really pushing the bill. Remember, it was a bill approved by Congress back when the Republicans had a tenuous majority in the senate, unlike the 55-45 majority now. In fact, it passed the senate with an 87-10 vote. I think it is safe to say that No Child Left Behind has impacted, somewhat negatively, K-12 education in the United States. Putting a bigger bureaucratic standard on schools, with more administrators watching over the teacher’s shoulders, is a burden that our overworked and underpaid educators really do not need.
The Department of Education was threatened with destruction by Reagan, but embraced by Bush 41 and Clinton. Now it appears that the department is starting to insert itself into elementary and secondary education, and the sights have been set on higher education.
My question: who’s brilliant idea was it to have states and local areas pay for schools for their children, then give the oversight of those schools to the Feds? Isn’t that just a monumental screw-up? And now they want to do the same thing with Higher Education? Another pervue of the States?
I knew this would happen with the Department of Education. The Feds can’t stand not having complete control over thier pet projects, so the best idea to them is to assimilate these schools under a Federal umbrella while still making the states and local people pay for the Federal recommendations.
It’s a horrible system. It’s no surprise that it’s the brainchild of George Bush and Teddy Kennedy. In fact, Teddy should get drunk, take NCLB for a date and drive off a bridge with it.
Can we please stop increasing the size of government? Do we really need to fix things through government centralization?
So, John, stop fuming over George Bush and recognize the real threat the D of Ed poses. Dismantle the Department of Education, let the states regulate their schooling, from elementary ed to higher ed.