Abolishing the Department of Education Is the Best Thing for Our Kids

school kidsSince Jimmy Carter established the Department of Education in 1980, teacher performance has improved, students are smarter, and parents couldn’t be more pleased with the education their children are getting at state-run institutions that they didn’t pick themselves, but were assigned to based on zip code.

Just kidding.

None of those things happened. While there are definitely good teachers out there, lack of competition combined with a practical inability to fire incompetent teachers has lead to complacency across the spectrum. From rubber rooms for sex-offending teachers still collecting paychecks to bloated salaries and pensions for educational administrators all over the nation, public schools are getting a bad rap. 


Add to the mix the fact that teachers are now trained to ‘teach to the test,’ a la No Child Left Behind, and the entire educational system is going to suffer from bad juju from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans don’t like federal control over what they consider to be a state and local issue, and Democrats don’t like the Ted Kennedy-sponsored, George Bush-approved No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

President Obama increased Department of Education spending to $77.4 billion in 2012, up from $46.2 billion 10 years ago, when the infamous NCLB mandate was made law. Since our government is putting a ginormous tax burden on us, this seems like an awesome place to start slashing costs. The department with the smallest staff of 15 Cabinet agencies should not have the third largest budget. That’s just silly.

We’ve tried mandating education at a national level, and it hasn’t worked. Teachers are cheating on standardized tests, parents face jail time for trying to practice school choice in a system that makes it incredibly difficult for them to do so, and our children are suffering as a result.

Let’s save the money from the Department of Education, and let communities keep that to spend how they see fit to educate their kids. There’s absolutely no need for federal control over our children’s education. Let’s give the power (and the funds) back where it belongs -- communities that know a heck of a lot more about how to raise and educate their children than some bureaucrat in Washington.


This post is part of a weekly conversation with our 5 Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. Read the original question and find links to all their responses here: Should the Department of Education Be Abolished?


Image via USFWS Mountain Prairie/Flickr

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