NCLB, A-PLUS and a curious form of juvenile delinquency
A Republican congressman recently told William McKenzie, an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News, "that one challenge to getting the No Child Left Behind Act renewed this year is that some in his party still believe the federal government shouldn't stick its nose into educating kids."

I'm impressed. Actually, I'd like a list of names and addresses so I can write and thank them for their continued respect of our Constitution and the fundamental principle of states' rights in educational matters. The rest of the editorial is a rambling attack against conservatives holding this view based on nothing but the importance of education.

Representative Pete Hoekstra appears to be one of these unpopular Republicans.
"With No Child Left Behind we shifted down the road toward federal government education," he said. "We are now on the road to a national curriculum, national accountability, national testing...and then we will also have a process of federally mandated corrections standards for those who don't meet the standards." Hoekstra added, "Every school in the country will begin to look exactly the same. Say goodbye to local control, and say hello to federal government schools."
We've only been working on that since the 1800s. He will be introducing his proposal, the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act of 2007, next week. The main difference between this and No Child Left Behind? It will limit federal oversight and allow states to "assume full responsibility for the education needs of its students." If only we could get away from the federal funding, as well. Actually, the more I think about it, the less money a school district receives from sources outside its own district, the more dependent it is on families in that district. And the more pressure there is to meet the demands within the district as opposed to whatever educational fad is sweeping through the universities.

But maybe that is wishful thinking.

Even with funding at current levels, the bill is unlikely to pass. As Neal McCloskey, a political analyst with the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, points out,
Federal education programs live or die by whether or not they work politically, not academically. [ibid.]
And politics, according to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), "is a curious form of juvenile delinquency."

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